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Thousands Without Power in Los Angeles After High Demand Due to Heat Wave

Thousands of Los Angeles residents were left without power Saturday morning after a heat wave prompted high electricity demand throughout the city.

“Friday’s record-setting heat led to unprecedented peak electricity demand,” according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). High demand caused power outages throughout city and left 34,500 customers in the dark — without fans or air conditioning.

The department said that figure accounts for about 2.5% of their 1.5 million customers.

Scorching heat has descended upon California and parts of the southwest after a heat wave swept across Canada earlier in the week, killing dozens in the province of Quebec, according to Canadian health officials.

Many areas in California on Friday broke their daily high temperature records, according to CNN meteorologists. Downtown Los Angeles reached a high of 108 degrees, breaking its previous daily record of 94 degrees, which was set in 1992.

UCLA also broke its previous daily temperature record, where thermometers read 111 degrees.

Since the start of the heat wave on Friday, LADWP has restored power to 14,500 customers, it said in a statement. But LADWP warned customers they should prepare to be without power for 12 to 24 hours, “and possibly even longer due to the high number of small localized outages.”

The peak energy demand level on Friday was 6,256 megawatts, LADWP said, a new record for a day in July, beating out the previous record of 6,165 megawatts, set on July 24, 2006.

LADWP also asked customers to reduce their electricity use throughout Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

“LADWP crews worked throughout the night to restore power and will work around the clock until every affected customer has service restored,” it added.

But according to CNN meteorologists, more daily high temperature records were expected to either be tied or broken on Saturday. Temperatures along the coast could reach up to 100 degrees, while those farther inland could see highs of up to 120 degrees.

More than 15 million people were under excessive heat warnings on Saturday throughout Southern California and Nevada.

The heat is also exacerbating conditions fueling wildfires in California, which have claimed one life and forced hundreds to evacuate from their homes.