SoCal heat wave leaves thousands without power across region

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The intense heat wave that swept across Southern California Friday left many homes and neighborhoods in the dark while temps were still high.

In Los Angeles County alone, nearly 14,000 customers were affected by 163 outages. In Orange County, a little more than 5,400 were without power in 82 outage areas. In the Inland Empire, more than 2,500 customers in Riverside were affected and 1,901 were affected in San Bernardino.

From the San Fernando Valley to the San Gabriel Valley, there were transformers out that knocked out power to hundreds of people.

"My mother-in-law who hasn't been well is 93 and ended up going to the emergency room, which is before the power went out," Sherman Oaks resident Jim said.

In one area, restaurant employees were watching as crews worked to fix blown power lines while the business was shuttered because of the power loss.

There was a similar scene at The Grove, where an outage disrupted what was already a hot and busy night.

"Everything went out. This is way too hot, I'm trying to leave right now," Naif Alsharif said.

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The intense heat wave in Southern California broke heat records in dozens of cities, created scary moments for a hiker and worsened fire conditions.

In addition to the power outages, brush fires were sparked all over the Southland and heat records were broken.

A brush fire forced evacuations for Forest Falls in San Bernardino County. The 1,000-acre blaze was 0 percent contained as of Friday night.

The hot and very dry conditions nearly killed a hiker, who collapsed while climbing near Runyon Canyon. Thomas Frye Jr. spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News after he helped save the woman's life.

"She was gasping for air. She couldn't really breathe and she was just saying, 'I can't breathe. I can't breathe.' To the point where she fell over and said she had to vomit," he said.

Thanks to Frye and his friend, she was able to get to safety. First responders airlifted the woman to a nearby hospital before it was too late.

In Los Angeles, temperatures hit a high of 108, which is 14 degrees higher than the last record set. By nightfall, conditions did not get any better as the temperatures only dipped into the upper 90s.

The worst of the intense heat wave is still ahead, with even hotter temperatures expected over the weekend.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and SoCal Edison urge customers to conserve energy during the evening hours or turn air conditions to a higher and bearable temperature.
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