Power restored for many PG&E customers

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- PG&E was working to restore electricity to Bay Area customers who lost  service Tuesday as rising temperatures prompted a surge in power consumption.

As of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, the utility told KTVU that 545 customers had no electricity.

The East Bay city of Livermore seemed to be the hardest hit with temperatures in the upper 90s.

The Livermore City Manager's office posted an update saying they had no information on when power might be restored. >>>>>For the PG&E outage map: Click here

Other areas affected by power outages:

  • South Bay: 145 customers without power.
  • North Bay: 28 customers without power.
  • Peninsula: 38 customers without power.
  • East Bay: 300 customers without power (includes Livermore).
  • San Francisco: 35 customers without power.

California and other western states were sweltering with the worst day for the Bay Area expected to be on Thursday. KTVU meteorologist Rosemary Orozco said some inland areas could see high temperatures around 105 on Thursday and the National Weather Service was set to issue an excessive heat advisory.

In Phoenix, temperatures were expected to top out around 120 degrees. The forecast called for a high of 120 degrees in Phoenix, 119 in Palm Springs, California, and 126 in Death Valley. The extreme heat led the operator of California's power grid to call on people to conserve electricity during peak hours.

At a downtown Phoenix construction site, men in hard hats and yellow vests labored and sweated in the morning heat and downed water to stay hydrated. Project superintendent Tommy Russell says his company has held weekly safety meetings to prepare for the heat, and he will send all his workers home if it hits 120.

"We anticipate the weather, so we keep everyone hydrated, we keep everyone watered down," Russell said.

Phoenix has hit 120 only three times in recorded history -- the last time 22 years ago. The record high was 122 degrees on June 26, 1990.

The city reached 118 on Monday, which the National Weather Service says is rare. In fact, temperatures at that mark or higher have only been reached 15 times since record-keeping started in 1896. 

The weather comes as new research found that nearly one in three people now experience 20 days a year when the heat reaches deadly levels. The study of nearly 2,000 deadly heat waves worldwide since 1980 was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

In the Southwest U.S., the heat has caused several problems this week.

In addition to grounding more than 40 flights of smaller planes, airlines have been taking other measures on larger jets to reduce their weight. American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said the carrier began limiting sales on some flights to prevent the planes from exceeding maximum weight for safe takeoff in the hot conditions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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