Power towers are seen as the sun sets July 24, 2006 in San Rafael, California. The California Independent System Operator declared a stage two power alert for all of California today after available power had fallen to below five percent as high temperatures scorched the state for eight days straight prompting Californians to use a record 50,270 megawatts of power. Temperatures are expected to cool slightly over the next few days but strain on the power grid will continue. A Stage 2 alert means that remaining available power has fallen to below five percent and some businesses will begin to voluntarily shut down some of their operations in exchange for discounted rates. Californians hope to avoid a Stage 3 alert, which would involve rolling blackouts, as calls go out to cut back on power usage until the heat subsides this evening.
By now, all New Yorkers have realized that it is hot. But many may not know that the current heatwave — which has featured temperatures of 90 degrees or above for seven straight, hellish days — is the longest in over a decade. (Though we’re sure most of you intuited that.) Luckily, thunderstorms are expected on Saturday night, which means the city should cool down to the 80s on Sunday, and we’ll all have to find something new to complainabout.