Utility crews scrambled to restore electrical service around the Southland today after a day of record-shattering heat, with more extreme temperatures forecast for today.
Slightly cooler temperatures, with the valleys topping out around 106 degrees, are expected today. Downtown Los Angeles set a record of 113 degrees shortly after noon Monday, and traditional San Fernando Valley hotspot Woodland Hills topped out at 111 degrees.
Health experts recommend avoiding strenuous outdoor exercise during the hottest parts of the day, due to the possibility of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Award-winning film editor Sally Menke was found dead early today after taking a hike in Beachwood Canyon Monday with her dog. Menke, 56, who edited films such as “Pulp Fiction” and the “Kill Bill” movies, is believed to have been overcome by the 100-degree-plus heat.
As of 8 a.m., about 15,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers were without electricity in the city’s service area, which covers about 1.4 million customers, Brooks Baker of the LADWP said. The number of customers affected included: 2,411 in Westchester; 1,730 in Hollywood; 993 in Silver Lake; 925 in Mar Vista; 864 in West Los Angeles, and 763 in Brentwood.
The DWP reported record demand, with electricity flowing at a peak of 6,177 megawatts at 3:45 p.m., breaking the previous record of 6,165 megawatts on July 24, 2006.
As of 9 a.m., about 27,600 Southern California Edison customers were without electricity in the utility’s service area, which covers about 14 million customers, SCE’s Paul Klein said.
Although exact figures for specific communities were not available, cities hardest hit included Long Beach, Lakewood, Carson, Downey, Santa Ana, Tustin, Mission Viejo, Orange and Irvine. SCE, serving most of Southern California outside of Los Angeles, also set a peak demand record Monday.
Utility officials were asking customers to conserve energy where possible, and by waiting until the heat of the day passes to run washers and dryers and other large appliances.
While beach temperatures are forecast to be pleasant, in the upper 70s and low 80s, the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys are expected to see triple-digit heat. Some inland and mountain areas are forecast top 100 degrees.
Monday’s downtown high of 113 degrees at 12:15 p.m. was the hottest ever for the date, beating the old record of 112 degrees set June 26, 1990, according to National Weather Service. Records date to 1877.
Other highs set Monday included 111 degrees in Long Beach and 110 in Burbank.
In response to the extreme heat, the Los Angeles Unified School District canceled all outdoor activities Monday and said they would continue monitoring the weather and take further steps if deemed necessary.
The district urged parents to ensure their children are dressed appropriately for the weather, and suggested that students bring a frozen bottle of water to school.
Some cities have opened “cooling centers” to give residents a place to cool off. Such centers are available in North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sunland, Sylmar, Sherman Oaks, Northridge and Burbank.