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Flex alert goes into effect Tuesday as heat wave lingers

August 14, 2012 |  6:08 am

Flexalert
As high temperatures continue to sweat the state Tuesday, the California Independent System Operator once again issued a flex alert, asking customers to conserve power to avoid outages.

The alert will be in effect Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. During that time, customers are asked to keep thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, to turn off air conditioning when not at home, to turn off unnecessary lights and appliances, and to restrict the use of major appliances to the morning and late evening.

The Independent System Operator issued a similar alert last week and officials said customers had heeded the call, reducing energy consumption by nearly 1,000 megawatts.

PHOTOS: Hot weather continues

That amounts to about half the power lost due to a continuing outage at the San Onofre nuclear plant, which has been out of service for more than six months because of severe equipment problems. The plant supplies enough power for 1.4 million homes when running at full capacity.

Temperatures were expected to cool slightly in Southern California on Tuesday — where triple-digit temperatures have scorched valley areas for more than a week — but were still expected to surpass the 100-degree mark. The National Weather Service said downtown Los Angeles would see a high near 90 degrees.

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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: Mike Skelly of Dana Point heads in from surfing as children play on the shore at San Onofre State Beach last week. California's power grid is being tested as officials try to keep electricity flowing amid an ongoing heat wave without the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, in the background, which has been closed for months. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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