The California Independent System Operator, the entity that oversees the state's electrical grid, said there could be "rotating power outages" Tuesday evening when demand for power could reach an all-time high.
A record-setting heat wave made life miserable in much of the West on Tuesday, with California stretching into its second week of excessive heat that taxed the state’s power supply and threatened power shortages that could prompt blackouts while people were desperately trying to stay cool, AP reports.
The California Independent System Operator, the entity that oversees the state’s electrical grid, said there could be “rotating power outages” Tuesday evening when demand for power could reach an all-time high.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom urged residents to conserve, warning in a video message that “the risk for outages is real and it’s immediate.”
“This heat wave is on track to be both the hottest and the longest on record for the state and many parts of the West for the month of September,” Newsom said. “Everyone has to do their part to help step up for just a few more days.”
California’s state capital of Sacramento tied a record Tuesday with its 41st day of temperatures reaching at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). And there was a chance the city would break its all-time high temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius) set in 1925, according to the National Weather Service.
Sacramento native Debbie Chang was out walking in Capitol Park on Tuesday morning, pulling a wagon of Pop-Tarts and water to hand out to homeless people. She lives in an old house that relies on wall-mounted units that she says don’t work so well. The temperature reached 91 degrees (33 C) in her house Monday night.
“The past few years in California, it’s really rough,” she said. “I really love this state. And growing up I never imagined I’d exactly want to live outside of California, unless maybe internationally. But this is very difficult.”
In San Francisco, temperatures hit 94 degrees (34 C) just before noon on Tuesday in a region known for its mild summer weather where most people don’t have air conditioning. In Los Angeles, temperatures were in the upper 90s on Tuesday, prompting the nation’s second-largest school district to limit the use of asphalt and concrete playgrounds.
In neighboring Nevada, Reno set a record of 102 degrees (39 C) on Monday while in Utah’s Salt Lake City _ a city at more than 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) elevation _ temperatures were about 20 degrees higher than normal, hitting 105 degrees (40.5 C) on Tuesday, the hottest September day recorded going back to 1874.
Scientists say climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the last three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. In the last five years, California has experienced the largest and most destructive fires in state history.
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