The heat wave roasting the Southland and other parts of California prompted the manager of the state’s power grid to issue an emergency alert Friday, indicating that unless strain on the system is reduced, rolling blackouts could soon follow.
The California Independent System Operator had previously declared a Flex Alert, urging residents statewide to conserve electricity between 3 and 10 p.m. to avoid overloading the power system. But shortly after 5 p.m., demand on the system was so severe that Cal-ISO declared a Stage 2 Emergency.
“The ISO is working closely with utilities and neighboring power systems to manage the strain on the grid to limit any potential power disruptions,” according to a statement from Cal-ISO.
If conditions do not improve, a Stage 3 Emergency could be declared, “which will lead to rotating power outages,” Cal-ISO warned.
Residents were being urged to cut back their electricity usage. Cal-ISO offered a series of tips, including:
— Turning off unnecessary lights;
— Using major appliances before 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m.;
— Setting air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;
— Using fans; and
— Keeping drapes drawn.