Rolling blackouts possible through Wednesday, state officials say

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Managers of California’s power grid issued a statewide Flex Alert today, calling for voluntary electricity conservation through Wednesday and warning of rolling blackouts amid record-breaking heat.

The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

The California Independent System Operator said consumers should be prepared for likely rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday because there is not a sufficient amount of energy to meet the high amounts of demand during the heat wave.

Consumers were urged to help by shifting energy use to morning and nighttime hours and conserving as much energy as possible during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the ISO was urging consumers to take the following steps:
— Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits;
— Defer use of major appliances;
— Turn off unnecessary lights;
— Unplug unused electrical devices;
— Close blinds and drapes;
— Use fans when possible;
— Limit time refrigerator door is open.
Consumers were also advised to take the following steps before 3 p.m.:
— Pre-cool homes, or lower air conditioning thermostats to 72 degrees;
— Charge electric vehicles;
— Charge mobile devices and laptops’
— Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances if
necessary;
— Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or late at night.

The state initiated some rolling blackouts Friday for the first time since 2001 and again on Saturday, with most lasting no longer than 20 minutes.

High temperatures Sunday were forecast to reach 102 in Riverside, 101 in Beaumont, 102 in Hemet, 89 in Idyllwild, 113 in Palm Springs and 112 in Thermal.

Highs in the Coachella Valley were forecast to remain between 104 to 118 through Wednesday, according to the NWS. The mercury is expected to top out around 106 in areas west of the mountains during the heat wave.