Temps cause few utility headaches

Record temperatures on Monday caused a run on energy, but officials said blackouts and heat-related injuries were kept to a minimum.

At 4 p.m. Monday, demand for electricity in Glendale reached 343 megawatts — an all-time high that broke a record of 336 megawatts set in the summer of 2007, said Glendale Water & Power Assistant General Manager Ramon Abueg.

The demand on a normal summer day, he said, peaks at about 270 megawatts.

Burbank also broke new ground Monday, with peak demand of 321 megawatts at 4 p.m. The previous record was 309 megawatts, said Burbank Water & Power Assistant General Manager Jorge Somoano.

The average daily demand throughout the year is 142 megawatts, he added.

The temperature reached 110 degrees at Bob Hope Airport on Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials in both cities said their systems had more than enough power available on reserve to meet the demand. Nonetheless, broken circuits and other woes kept workers on the go through the afternoon and evening.

Abueg said Glendale Water & Power fielded at least nine reports of problems, ranging from residences where high demand caused circuits to blow to one sizeable outage. At 4:45 p.m., an equipment failure shut down power for about 2,400 customers in the area between New York Avenue and Ocean View, Abueg said. GWP restored power to most customers within minutes, and all customers were back on line by 7:10 p.m.

Somoano said his agency responded to six calls for problems with fuses and pole-top transformers.

About 390 La Cañada Flintridge homes served by Southern California Edison lost power because of an overloaded circuit at 3:51 p.m. The company restored service to most of the neighborhood south of Foothill Boulevard within minutes, and finished by about 5 p.m., said spokeswoman Lauren Bartlett.

At Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Dr. Edmond Noll said about a dozen more patients came to the emergency room Monday than normal. While most did not check in because of heat stroke, Noll said the high temperatures exacerbated other health problems.

During extremely hot periods, he said people should drink a lot of water, stay in the shade and acclimate to conditions if they need to be outside.

"It's the stuff your mom used to tell you," Noll said. "The problem is, people don't listen to moms anymore."

Power officials expect continued high energy demand in the coming days, especially between 2 and 7 p.m., and urged customers to take the following steps to help conserve energy:

• Set the thermostat at 78 degrees when home, and higher when away

• Do not place lamps or TV sets near your air conditioning thermostat

• Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances

• Use major appliances early in the day or later at night

• Turn off central air conditioning 30 minutes before you plan to leave a building

• Close doors and windows, keep curtains and window shades drawn

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World