Hundreds of thousands of Californians were plunged into the dark Friday night as companies cut power to households after the state's independent system operator declared a level 3 energy emergency.
With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in many parts of the state and millions of residents stuck at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, experts feared the high demand for electricity would overwhelm the power grid.
A level 3 emergency is reported when demand exceeds available supply. In order to guarantee the stability of the power grid, rotating power interruptions were initiated ”, announced the independent system operator shortly before 6 pm.
Following that announcement, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. confirmed that power would be cut for up to 250,000 customers, while Edison of Southern California also announced that they would have rolling blackouts.
The residents could not be notified due to the emergency call, leaving thousands of vulnerable people suddenly without air conditioning amid a severe heat wave.
Grid managers last carried out such a blackout in 2001, when the state was suffering from a power crisis.
It's a week of horror for the state that is still struggling to contain COVID-19 infections. On Friday, the state exceeded 600,000 confirmed cases of the contagious virus – more than New York state.
The nightmare is likely to continue, and more forced blackouts could occur over the weekend as the state continues to sizzle.
The National Weather Service says the oppressive conditions will persist and the heat wave will rival the deadly seven-day heat event of 2006, which saw LA hit its highest temperature ever of 119 degrees.
Solar generators for the state will also be affected as the cloud cover from Tropical Storm Elida is expected to limit performance.
Hundreds of thousands of Californians were plunged into darkness during a heatwave Friday night when companies cut power to households after the state's independent system operator declared a level 3 energy emergency. The sun goes down in Asuza
The power outage was underway on Friday as most of the state received a level 3 emergency
The independent Californian system operator feared that a high demand for electricity would overwhelm the system. Your emergency call forced energy companies to turn off power to hundreds of thousands of households
Cities and towns across the state were hit by the rolling barriers. Houses as far north as San Fransciso were bathed in darkness. Meanwhile, the residents of San Diego – at the southernmost point of California – had a power outage
Following the declaration of the Level 3 Emergency, PG&E cut power to tens of thousands of homes in Northern California.
Power outages occurred in Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Sonoma counties.
The failures also crippled southern California.
Various reports say that around 13,000 homes in Bakersfield north of LA were unplugged after 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, Edison of Southern California announced that power had been cut to homes in Anaheim, near Los Angeles, but promised the outages would not last more than 15 minutes.
In the San Diego and South Orange counties, Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas & Electric utility said one-hour rotating barriers will be "widespread" throughout its area.
At around 9 p.m., the level 3 emergency was lifted and electricity was restored to most homes.
Shutting down the power supply for vulnerable residents in sizzling temperatures can be incredibly dangerous.
On Friday, a temperature of 112 degrees Fahrenheit was forecast in the San Joaquin Valley. Los Angeles should reach 96 degrees.
People and animals enjoyed the heat wave at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach on Friday
The San Joaquin Valley will have scorching temperatures of 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Los Angeles is expected to reach 96 degrees
California utilities are experiencing a massive blackout across the state that could affect around 250,000 homes and businesses as excessive heat warnings are issued in most regions
While San Diego saw clear skies, some areas of California experienced high clouds from Tropical Storm Elida, causing their solar panels to crimp
The National Weather Service forecast an extensive heat wave starting this weekend and lasting until the end of next week
A couple ride a paddleboat during a heat wave amid the coronavirus disease outbreak at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles