"I never experienced anything like yesterday. I felt like I was in Las Vegas on steroids," said Larry Cox, who has worked in downtown for more than 35 years.
Downtown doesn't usually see triple digit heat like Monday's record high of 113 degrees. People really felt the scorcher, seeking shade and trying to find ways to cool off.
Many headed to work Tuesday in lightweight clothes, prepared for the possibility that afternoon temperatures would climb near the 100-degree mark again.
"That's why I'm wearing my shorts today. Yesterday, I was wearing pants and a shirt, but today I said I'm just going to wear shorts," said Martin Anguiano, a Los Angeles resident.
Most people were enjoying the break from the scorching temperatures, although downtown worker Martha Ramirez said she prefers heat to the unusually cool weather Southern California had for most of the summer.
"As long as I'm in front of an air conditioner, I don't mind," said Ramirez.
"This is fine. We can deal with this, but 113? No thank you," Cox said about Tuesday's cooler conditions.
The sizzling heat was felt throughout Southern California. Several communities broke or tied temperature records. For workers who had to spend a lot of time outdoors, it was a very uncomfortable day.
"It was really hot. I was out on my sales route which goes into the Valley, goes into Pasadena and comes back," said Paul Herron, who works at Milagra Flowers in downtown's Flower District.
Monday's extreme heat prompted adjustments to train speeds and schedules. Metro Green, Blue and Gold Line trains were ordered to reduce their maximum speeds to 45 mph until 8 p.m. Monday, according to the agency. Metro riders were warned of delays of approximately 5 minutes.
The surge in power used during such a heat wave caused some problems. A transformer blew up in Studio City, setting several palm trees on fire.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recorded the highest ever demand for electricity. Both the LADWP and Edison reported scattered power outages for thousands of customers on Monday. As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, there were still approximately 11,775 customers without power, with the bulk of them in the Westchester and Hollywood areas.
The LADWP advises customers to conserve energy, as to prevent overtaxing the city's electrical infrastructure.
Energy conservation tips
- Adjust thermostat to 78 degrees or more to reduce energy usage.
- Limit the use of appliances during peak hours of the day - use appliances during evening hours.
- Try to avoid cooking during peak hours of the day since it will add to the heat inside the home.
- Ventilate your home at night and early morning by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate.
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