Newsom declares state of emergency as California faces historic heat, threat of power outages

With scorching temperatures set to sear California through Labor Day weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation aimed at shoring up the state’s energy capacity and staving off the kind of power outages and rolling blackouts that left tens of thousands of residents in the dark during the last massive heat wave.

Newsom’s declaration, issued Thursday, comes as some major utilities warn that the one-two-punch of sweltering conditions and increased energy demand could stress the power grid to its limit, potentially resulting in outages.

“For this weekend, conservation is key,” said Jim Hanggi, a spokesman for Southern California Edison.

The California Independent System Operator, which runs the power grid for most of the state, has already issued a statewide flex alert — calling for voluntary electricity conservation from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

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