Southern California Edison crew
A Southern California Southern California Edison crew works to restore power. Courtesy of SCE

Record-breaking heat that has overwhelmed some Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison equipment in recent days has left tens of thousands of customers without electricity.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, about 37,000 of DWP’s 1.5 million customers were without power. Some 9,600 SCE customers in Los Angeles and Orange counties were blacked out. DWP had not updated its totals by 6 a.m.

Because of the high number of outages, DWP revised its estimated restoration time from 12-24 hours to 24-48 hours late Saturday. The utility added that some more complex outages might take even longer than 48 hours.

The problems ranged from faulty underground cables to overhead power lines, as well as larger-scale equipment failures including overloaded power distribution stations and related equipment.

The most affected areas include Westlake with 4,585 customers without power, Koreatown with 4,962 and Los Feliz with 3,300.

In the San Fernando Valley, Encino was down from 1,400 to 78 customers without power and Sherman Oaks had about 1,600 customers without power.

Outside the Los Angeles city limits, Southern California Edison also reported power outages related to temperatures that hovered over 110 degrees in some places on Saturday. A total of 4,593 customers are without power in Los Angeles County, according to the online Outage Center. That was down 3,200 from Saturday night. Some 574 customers in Orange County remained without power.

SCE urged its customers to do whatever they could to reduce pressure on the system, such as keeping thermostats at 70 or above, judicious use of air conditioning and use of drapes, curtains and blinds to keep sunlight and heat out of rooms.

DWP officials said Saturday’s power demand was the second-highest of any weekend day in the city’s history, with peak use exceeding 5,700 megawatts, one day after a July record of 6,256 megawatts was used on Friday, which was the most used for a single day since 2006 when 6,165 megawatts were used.

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