The unprecedented heat wave that struck the cities of Seattle and Portland, Oregon, advanced Tuesday inland and it caused a Spokane, Washington, electric company to resume its blackouts amid high demand for electricity.
The authorities they said that several of the deaths in Washington and Oregon could be related to the high temperatures that began last week.
The high temperatures – above 100 Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius) – that hit Seattle and Portland on consecutive days were expected to decrease in those cities. But inland, in Spokane, temperatures soared.
The National Weather Service reported that the thermometer reached 109 Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius) in Spokane Tuesday afternoon, the highest temperature ever recorded in that area.
Around about 9,300 clients of Avista in Spokane lost power Monday and the company said it planned to carry out more blackouts Tuesday afternoon in the city of about 220,000 people.
We try to limit outages to one hour per customer, ”said Heather Rosentrater, Avista’s vice president of electricity supply.
It noted that some 2,400 customers were without power shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, most of them in the northern part of the city, and that those customers had been notified of the blackout. About 21,000 customers were warned Tuesday morning that they could experience power outages, he added.
Avista had to implement blackouts deliberate on Monday because “the electrical system experienced a new spike in demand, and the stress from high temperatures impacted the system in such a way that it forced us to proactively cut power to some customers,” said Dennis Vermillion, president and CEO. CEO of the company. “That happened faster than anticipated.”
Rosentrater commented that the blackouts were a distribution problem, and that they were not due to a lack of power in the system.
Meanwhile, authorities said several recent deaths in the region they were probably related to the scorching climate.
The King County Coroner’s Office said two people died of hyperthermia, meaning their bodies became overheated. The Seattle Times reported that the victims were a 65-year-old woman from Seattle, and a 68-year-old woman from Enumclaw, Washington.