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Record-setting heat wave leads to blackouts in L.A.

Coping with the heat wave
Diont Harp, a worker on a light-rail line, tries to keep cool Monday in downtown Los Angeles as a record-setting heat wave tightens its grip on the Southland.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Thousands of Los Angeles residents lost power Monday as scorching temperatures kept people inside while  running fans and air conditioners that strained the power grid, officials said.

As of 9:30 p.m., about 6,200 Department of Water and Power customers lost electrical service, department spokeswoman Christy Holland said. 

The vast majority of those experiencing power outages -- about 5,500 customers -- reside in the San Fernando Valley, Holland said. The rest were scattered in pockets across metropolitan L.A.

The DWP has about 1.4 million customers across the city.

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Sweltering heat strained the city’s electrical system, and the DWP said in a statement that Monday’s peak demand, 6,080 megawatts, was more than 50% higher than energy demand on a usual June day. 

Thousands experienced blackouts at various times Monday. The most outages occurred about 7 p.m., when 11,469 DWP customers lost power, Holland said. The DWP did not have information about the total number of customers who lost power during the day.

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Officials expect power to be restored about six hours after the electricity initially shut off.

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