The warnings are issued as temperatures in California and the western United States reach record highs. When compared to previous Septembers, this heat wave is expected to be the hottest and longest ever in California, where the peak summer months are typically July and August. Cell phone customers in the targeted counties received the following text message alert through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system: “Conserve energy right away to safeguard public health and safety. The state energy grid is under pressure from the intense heat. Without your intervention, power outages could happen. If your health permits, turn off or limit unnecessary power now until 9 o’clock.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services issued an emergency notice at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6, requesting citizens to conserve power due to extreme weather straining California’s energy grid and endangering public health and safety. This action caused the California Independent System Operation (CaISO) to immediately and noticeably reduce its energy use, which helped the state’s grid.
Updated forecast from the National Weather Service shows that this extreme heat is going to continue into Thursday and Friday. Amidst this ongoing, climate-driven heatwave, Californians have now for multiple days successfully stepped up to save energy and made a difference in California’s ability to keep the lights on.
The geographically-targeted text messages was sent to residents in the counties of: Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, Ventura, and Yolo. These counties were targeted because they are in areas of significantly above average temperatures, high population density and high concentrations of air conditioner use.
Hitting the cooling waters of the Stanislaus River at Jacob Myers Park was one option for residents looking to beat the heat over the long Labor Day holiday weekend. Triple digits are forecast to continue throughout this week, bringing with them the possibility of flex alerts and rolling power outages. Marg Jackson/The News