Heat Threatens California Power

Shoemaker Manuel Jimenez, 60, originally from Jalostotitlan, Mexico, takes a break from the sun under a tree Thursday, July 21, 2005, while listening to live music at the Pershing Square Summer Concert Series 2005 in downtown Los Angeles.
Hot temperatures into the weekend could continue to jeopardize power supplies as Southern California recovers from outages resulting from record power usage, authorities warned.

Rolling blackouts have not taken place in the state since 2001, but state power officials say they could be making a comeback, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman.

Southern California Edison set a record demand on Thursday, supplying about 21,800 megawatts, which surpassed the previous record of 21,112 megawatts set Wednesday. A megawatt is enough power to serve about 750 average homes.

Edison shut off power to more than 155,000 residential air conditioners under a program that offers people reduced rates if they agree to power cuts when demand gets high, Edison spokesman Gil Alexander said.

The city's Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison also saw record usage and customers suffered several minor outages, according to Marie Lemelle, a DWP spokeswoman. The DWP provided 5,661 megawatts, eclipsing the old record of 5,643, which was set in 1998, she said.

In California and throughout the West, one word described the conditions outside:

"It's hot!"

"Do you like it?" Futterman asked the woman in Los Angeles.

"Hate it!"

But other Angelenos were rather stoic about it.

"The first thing is, you stop saying how awful it is," counseled a man.