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California's Baking And The Power Grid's Being Tested

Southern California will be broiling through the weekend, as a heat wave that has brought record-breaking temperatures continues, the Los Angeles Times says.

That's why the managers of California's power grid have issued a "flex alert" to customers.

They're asking that residents:

-- "Turn off all unnecessary lights."

-- "Postpone using appliances until after 6 p.m."

-- "Turn your air conditioner thermostat up to 78 degrees."

According to our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio, it's "the summer's first real electric test without the help of the San Onofre nuclear power plant due to safety concerns at that location. The twin-reactor generating station on the coast between San Diego and Los Angeles has been offline all year since a small radiation leak from a steam tube led to the discovery of more extensive problems."

And they add that:

"The [National Weather Service] forecast highs today of 90 in downtown L.A.; 91 in Anaheim; 92 in Long Beach; 93 in San Gabriel; 98 in Pasadena; 100 in Burbank; 107 in Woodland Hills and Saugus; and 108 in Palmdale and Lancaster. Temperatures are expected to be a few degrees lower Saturday and fall some more over subsequent days.

"Valleys and inland areas have been baking all week. Record-breaking highs for the date were recorded Thursday in several Southern California areas. Lancaster's 109 degrees broke a 1980 record of 106. The Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles also reported 109 and Sandberg in the Antelope Valley had 98. Several desert areas had their warmest lows for the date. Palm Springs reported a low of 89, 3 degrees above the 2003 record."

Need to know more about a flex alert and how to safe energy? Southern California Public Radio has an explainer here.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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