Intense heat prompts city to extend public library hours

An early morning hike to beat the triple-digit temperatures in Neenach Aug. 29, 2017. Jeff Zimmerman/For The Signal

All three Santa Clarita Public Libraries will stay open until 9 p.m. to help protect residents and keep them cool during the week’s excessive heat.

The Canyon Country, Old Town and Valencia locations—all named cooling centers by Los Angeles County—will continue their extended hours until Sunday of this week, according to Stacy Schlesinger, public relations & marketing coordinator for the Santa Clarita Public Library

Temperatures throughout the valley are expected to reach up to 111 degrees each day, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Increased temperatures prompted the NWS to extend its Excessive Heat Warning to Friday at 10 p.m. and the Los Angeles County Health Officer to extend its Heat Emergency until Friday.

The high temperatures also caused Southern California Gas Company to issue a Curtailment Watch to conserve energy Monday.  The following day, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) issued a Flex Alert for the entire state Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

To conserve electricity during the late afternoon “when air conditioners are typically in peak use,” consumers are asked to turn off all unnecessary lights, not use major appliances between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. and set their air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.

“Persistent hot temperatures and tight supply can strain the power grid, as air conditioner use increases,” the Flex Alert read.  “The forecast peak use today, August 29, is expected to exceed 48,000 megawatts, which if met will be the highest demand on the grid seen so far this year.”

The heat is expected to curtail a bit over the weekend, when daily highs reach between 103 and 109 degrees.

“The combination of strong high pressure and weak onshore flow will continue to produce dangerously hot temperatures across the region through at least the end of the week and possibly into the Labor Day weekend,” the NWS said.

These high temperatures also cause a long duration of elevated fire danger, an increased potential for power outages and a very high risk for heat-related illnesses.

“During the current situation, in which the relative humidity is below 30 percent, key strategies to remain cool include staying in air-conditioned areas and drinking adequate fluids to remain hydrated throughout the day,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.

Wildflowers captured in the glint of the sun while on an early morning hike to beat the triple-digit temperatures in Neenach Aug. 29, 2017. Jeff Zimmerman/For The Signal

Recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prevent heat-related illness:

  • Spend time in locations with air-conditioning when possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Good choices are water and diluted sport electrolyte drinks (1 part sport drink to 2 parts water) unless told otherwise by a doctor.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours

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