Record-Breaking Temperatures Continue Across The West

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Record-Breaking Temperatures Continue Across The West
While even those lucky enough to have an air-conditioned home, you can't count on it staying on in some of the worst heat the west has seen in years.

Hellish temperatures across the West — From California to Oregon, Nevada to Utah, temperatures are hitting triple digits in some of the country's biggest cities, and a massive swath of the West is under some type of heat alert.

Almost the entire state of California is under an excessive heat warning. The state's electric grid operator declared an energy emergency, warning of rolling blackouts if residents can't conserve enough energy.

"We have all hands-on-deck ready to respond if there are outages, so that we can get the power restored as quickly and safely as possible," Southern California Edison Spokesman David Eisenhauer said.

Near Los Angeles, crews are preparing spare transformers as state leaders expect the highest energy demand they've seen all year and potentially the most they've seen in five years.

In Long Beach, Deree Dickens charges his electric vehicle and worries about what that demand will mean in years to come, with leaders having just voted to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

"We've had power issues in the state for years," he said. "The power grid is already taxed and then you're going to put greater demand, significantly greater demand, on it by having all electric cars. You know, I don't see that as a recipe for success personally, at least not not in that time span."

In the short term, volunteers in Salt Lake City are doing whatever they can to keep cool the homeless who don't have a place to find refuge.

"It is life or death," Unsheltered Utah Executive Director Wendy Garvin said. "We really worry about people in this heat. In some ways, the heat is worse than the cold of the winter. We see more deaths from heat stroke than we do freezing injuries or freezing deaths."

While even those lucky enough to have an air-conditioned home, you can't count on it staying on in some of the worst heat the west has seen in years.

"I actually had to put a fan in my daughter's bed because it was that hot," one San Diego mom said. "My other slept in our room. We had all the windows open, we had gym fans in our room. It was intense. It was intense heat."