Cooling centers reopen, Flex Alert issued as heat wave returns

Library Page Cynthia Brennan, left, maintains distance as she helps Steve Reeves as he logs in to the Library WiFi in the cooling center at the Stevenson Ranch Library in Stevenson Ranch on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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As the Santa Clarita Valley braces for another heat wave, residents can get a bit of relief from the triple-digit temperatures at the county’s cooling centers. 

The Stevenson Ranch Library, located at 25950 The Old Road, has reopened as a cooling center now through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., according to county officials. 

An extreme heat advisory has been issued for the coming weekend, with weather officials projecting triple-digit temperatures to remain until Tuesday. 

The hot temperatures, according to David Sweet, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, are set to begin Friday, with highs of 110 degrees on Saturday and 111 on Sunday.

“It’s going to be hot,” Sweet said. “It’s going to start to cool off after Monday and get down close to normal.” 

Access to these cooling centers comes as California’s power grid operators issued another statewide Flex Alert Thursday, calling for voluntary electricity conservation extending through Wednesday each day during peak hours of 3-9 p.m., when energy demand is expected to be the highest.

During peak hours, the Flex Alert, issued by the California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, urges consumers to:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
  • Refrain from using major appliances.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances.
  • Unplug unused electrical devices.
  • Close blinds and drapes.
  • Use fans when possible. 
  • Limit the time the refrigerator door is open.

Participating in these conservation efforts can lower demand and reduce the need for rolling blackouts or lessen the duration of possible power interruptions.

L.A. County Department of Public Health officials remind residents to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, especially older adults, young children, outdoor workers, athletes and people with a chronic medical condition who are especially sensitive to negative health impacts from extreme heat.

If people do decide to work outside, they should drink plenty of fluids and try to limit physical activity to the morning or evenings. 

The library is among 16 facilities across L.A. County that have opened and is the only location in the SCV, though county officials are expected to work with the city of Santa Clarita for any additional locations, should the need arise.

To obtain a list of all cooling center locations, visit eady.lacounty.gov/heat or call 211. For more information on how to conserve energy, visit flexalert.org.

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