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Heat Wave Blisters Southern California

A blistering heat wave blanketing much of the California coast over the past week showed no signs of letting up Saturday as temperatures headed back toward triple digits.

Power was restored Saturday to almost all the 8,000 customers that were blacked out the day before when electrical demand skyrocketed because of the heat, said Terry Schneider, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Energy demand was expected to remain at peak levels into the weekend and the department had about 50 crews standing by to handle any overload problems, Schneider said.

"The system is under tremendous strain to meet the energy demand," he said.

Temperatures hit record highs up and down the state Friday, including 103 degrees at San Jose, 105 at Escondido, 106 at Burbank and 108 at San Luis Obispo.

The heat wave has been caused by northeasterly wind preventing sea breezes from penetrating a high-pressure system that has settled over the West.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the state Office of Emergency Services to be on standby through the weekend.

One death has been linked to the heat, a 77-year-old woman who apparently left her car near the California-Arizona line south of Lake Havasu, Ariz., on Monday in search of her elderly husband, who was hospitalized for treatment of burns. Temperatures hit 116 in the area Monday.