CA enters 10th day of Flex Alert, last day of Bay Area heat wave

Flex Alert runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

ByABC7 News staff via KGO logo
Friday, September 9, 2022
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A Flex Alert has been extended for the ninth straight day as the heat wave spikes up again for the Bay Area and rest of the state. It will run from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Here's how to prepare:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Flex Alert has been extended for the 10th straight day by CAL ISO, but it is the last day of this heat wave before a cool down begins. It will run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Video above is from a previous report.

This comes after a Flex Alert lasted seven hours from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday. That was a much longer window of time that Californians were asked to conserve energy.

Governor Gavin said while it has been an unprecedented and historic week, the governor thanks the more than 40 million Californians across the state for stepping up to the plate and doing their part to conserve energy.

But he says we are not out of the woods, yet.

The power grid is still seeing a record demand for energy and if people don't continue to take the Flex Alerts seriously, rolling blackouts are still a possibility.

But Gov. Newsom is working on a plan to help relieve stress on the grid. The legislature just passed a $4.2 billion initiative to provide an additional 4,000 megatwatts to the grid by 2024.

"There's still work to be done. Let's not run the 90 mile dash. Everybody has done an incredible job getting us through this. We will do our part to make sure we never have to go through this again and that's the continued transition to more battery storage, continued transition to more energy and backup supply -- new strategic reserve -- that we got through the legislature," he said.

People were advised to prepare for the Flex Alert. Here's how:

  • Close your blinds and pull your curtains to cover windows and keep out the sun.
  • If you need to use major appliances like your dishwasher or washer and dryer -- do it before 3 p.m.
  • You can also pre-cook meals to keep your oven and stove from heating up your kitchen during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you have an electric car, get it charged before 3 p.m.
  • If you are lucky enough to have A/C, pre-cool your home by setting your thermostat as low as 72 degrees.
  • LIVE: Track real-time temperatures amid Bay Area heat wave

    ISO has issued an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 2 effective from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, meaning consumers are strongly urged to cut back on energy use.

    FLEX ALERT: Tracker shows how close we are to overloading the power grid

    Why 4 Bay Area cities had unnecessary outages on Tuesday

    Miscommunication leads to power outages for many

    RELATED: PG&E posts blocks that may be impacted by rolling outages

    Outdoor workers face dangerous heat as temps sizzle

    Across the region, extreme heat has tested many people who work outside. Many of them have faced triple digits outside or possibly even inside their work vehicles.

    The rush is on for delivery driver Dave McShea to drop off boxes of wine across the Bay Area.

    "We attempt to get the bulk of the day done early to avoid the heat," McShea said. "It's a matter of staying hydrated, doing whatever you can: stay in the shade, make sure your vehicle has functioning air conditioning which for some of the box truck drivers is not the case, unfortunately."

    Fedex driver David Oliveras says it's like an oven inside his truck. Temperatures can get to 100 degrees or more since there are no windows.

    Because of that, Oliveras says he doesn't spend more than three minutes inside. He constantly moving in and out. That helps him stay cool.

    Food truck operator Arulfo Ramirez says he and his staff are feeling the heat.

    "The past two days, it was like 120 inside the truck," Ramirez said. "Sometimes I have to turn off the roaster. When I turn it on, it's hotter because we have the fryer."

    From the streets to the fields, workers outside are dealing with the most intense heat the area has seen in a while.

    UFW Foundation's Eriberto Fernandez explains that farmworkers have rights.

    "Farmworkers have the right to access to water -- clean drinking water, to rest breaks, to call the paramedics if they need to, to be able to stop work if they need to," Fernandez said.

    According to Department of Industrial Relations and Cal-OSHA, California has a heat illness prevention law. Employees must provide shade, water and encourage breaks for workers to cool down. And, they must have a plan if and when someone suffers heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

    Backup generators fail at SJ hospital during blackouts

    Parts of a major South Bay hospital went without power for close to four hours on Tuesday. The outage left patients, healthcare workers and doctors in the dark.

    During the PG&E outage, backup generators failed at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, impacting several buildings.

    This included the K building, which was described by hospital surgeon Dr. Tiffany Chao as the center of all things emergency.

    She detailed the emergency room is on the first floor, which includes all the trauma that comes in. A lot of the surgical patients are in the surgical and trauma ICU on the second floor, she said.

    There are additional patients on the fourth floor, with the third floor being care for women, children, and newborn babies.

    "It's an important building," Dr. Chao told ABC7 News.

    Following an evening operation on Tuesday, she was alerted about the power being completely out at the K building.

    "As soon as I walked over to the ICUs, it was pitch black. Everyone just had their iPhones out as little flashlights to try to check on people," she said. "Normally ICUs are full of, you know, just like beeping sounds and like monitor sounds - just like a lot of sounds like that. And it was just silent."

    ABC7 News reporters Lena Howland, Amanda del Castillo, Ryan Curry, Suzanne Phan and Luz Pena contributed to this story.

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