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Thousands Still Without Power In LA As Heat Wave Scorches Region

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Thousands of people in the Southland were still without electricity early Monday morning as record-breaking temperatures continued to put pressure on the region's power grid.

People gather on the beach on the second day of the Labor Day weekend amid a heatwave in Santa Monica, Caifornia on September 6, 2020. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

After 1 p.m. Monday, about 32,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers were still without electricity, the utility reported, down from 70,000 at 9 p.m. Sunday. The utility said 8,000 customers were "affected by small, neighborhood-level outages.''

LADWP had restored power to more than 115,000 customers since Saturday night.

LADWP crews were working around the clock to repair overheated and overloaded distribution equipment, the department said.

Neighborhoods most affected by the power outages included Sylmar with 3,895 impacted customers, East Hollywood with 2,593, Leimert Park with 1,815, West Adams with 1,537, Mid-Wilshire with 1,339, Park LaBrea with 1,332 and Hyde Park with 1,056. The LADWP warned some customers might be without electricity for 24 to 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison had 26,791 customers without power as of 1:30 p.m. Monday, according to its website, with 19,817 of those customers in Los Angeles County.

RELATED: LA County Heat Breaks Record After Woodland Hills Reaches 121 Degrees

While rolling blackouts have been avoided so far, they still remain a possibility. For the third straight day, a Flex Alert will be in effect from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday.

"We know that people are working from home, kids are doing online learning, so if directed, we will try to make sure they are as short as possible with the least impact on any one group of customers," Reggie Kumar with SoCal Edison told CBSLA Sunday.

The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state's bulk electric power system and its utility companies, briefly declared a Stage 2 Emergency both Saturday and Sunday. A Stage 2 Emergency means Cal ISO "has taken all mitigating actions and is no longer able to provide its expected energy requirements."

California ISO said due to the extreme heat and strain on the electric system, as many as 3 million homes could have lost power.

The Stage 2 Emergency was lifted just after 9 p.m. Sunday.

LADWP is not expected to be impacted by rolling blackouts since the utility is locally-owned and runs its own plants.

Temperatures, meanwhile, set new records around Southern California Sunday, including an all time high for L.A. County of 121 degrees at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, which broke a 2006 record of 119.

Van Nuys hit 118 degrees, breaking a record of 117 set in 2018; and the high of 114 degrees at Burbank Airport tied a previous record set Saturday.

An excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service will be in effect until 8 p.m. Monday in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, Santa Catalina Island and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys as well as Orange County.

During a Flex Alert, people are asked to keep their air conditioning thermostats no lower than 78 degrees and limiting the use of major appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers. They should also turn off lights and unplug cell phone chargers when not in use.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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