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Heat wave sparks major power outages around Los Angeles, officials say

Heat wave sparks major power outages around Los Angeles, officials say
  (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Skyrocketing electricity demand due to Friday’s triple-digit temperatures triggered power outages around Los Angeles that are still affecting about 34,500 residences and businesses, officials said.

Crews working through the night had already restored power to 14,500 customers who had been affected by the heat wave, said Joseph Ramallo, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. The average length of outages was six hours.

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With 5,800 still without power, Westlake topped the metro area’s lights-out list; Koreatown and Beverly Grove followed with 4,400 and 2,000, respectively. In the Valley area, 3,100 in Encino and 1,600 customers in Tarzana were also affected by the heat-related blackouts.

“Customers should plan for 12 to 24 hours without power and possibly even longer due to the high number of small localized outages,” officials said in a Web update.

Peak energy demand climbed to 6,256 megawatts on Friday, knocking down the previous July record of 6,165 megawatts set in 2006 and making it the fifth-highest peak demand ever recorded in the city’s history. Saturday’s estimated load had lessened slightly to 5,500 megawatts, officials said.

Consumers were urged to reduce their electricity usage from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, the hours when high use is typical. (Air conditioners pull much of that power but other appliances such as washing machines, dryers and dishwashers also contribute, Ramallo said.

Power outages can be reported by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP.

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