Officials Warn of Heat Wave, COVID-19 Risk for Labor Day Weekend in OC

September 5, 2020 Updated: September 5, 2020

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for parts of Orange County, California, over the weekend, including coastal and inland areas. Temperatures of up to 120 degrees are expected.

Cities listed under the inland advisory are Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Fullerton, and Mission Viejo. The warning started on Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. and expires on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.

The coastal cities of Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa are also under advisory, beginning at 10 a.m. on Sept. 5 and ending Sept. 7.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a state of emergency on Sept. 3 due to the expected extra demand on California’s energy grid during the heat wave.

The California Independent Service Operator (CAISO)—which oversees the bulk of the state’s power grid—issued a Flex Alert, “calling for voluntary electricity conservation from September 5, 2020 through September 7, 2020 to mitigate impact to energy supplies,” according to the emergency declaration.

Newsom called for various agencies to reduce the use of grid-based electrical power, and suspend any air quality restrictions or other regulations that would prevent generating the necessary power to keep the electrical grid running over the weekend.

At a press conference on Sept. 3, Orange County officials warned the public of heavy traffic near the beaches. They encouraged residents to wear masks in public areas, practice social distancing, and follow good hygiene during the holiday weekend.

“In enjoying these celebrations, we must remember we are still in the middle of a pandemic,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel.

“We have made so much progress in lowering our cases of COVID-19 over the course of the last month, and we can’t risk another surge.”

Orange County CEO Frank Kim said most of the beaches along California’s coastline would be open this weekend, and this would likely help keep people from congregating too densely in the Orange County area.

“We do believe that we can have our beaches open during this Labor Day weekend and do it safely,” Kim said.

“But it really is something that requires all of our participation, and we do implore the public to meet those guidelines and understand that we’re all in this together.”

Orange County will have cooling centers available to the public to prevent overheating. Visitors are recommended to call ahead to confirm the times before arriving.

The centers are located in:

Anaheim:
— Brookhurst Community Center, 2271 W. Crescent Ave. 714-765-3373;
— Canyon Hills Library, 400 Scout Trail, 714-974-7360;
— Central Branch Library, 500 W. Broadway, 714-765-1880;
— Downtown Anaheim Community Center, 250 E. Center St. 714-765-4500;
— East Anaheim Library, 8201 Santa Ana Canyon, 714-765-3887;
— Euclid Branch Library, 1340 S. Euclid, 714-765-3625;
— Haskett Branch Library, 2650 W. Broadway, 714-765-5075;
— Ponderosa Joint Use Library, 240 E. Orangewood Ave., 714-740-0202;
— Sunkist Branch Library, 901 S. Sunkist, 714-765-3576; and
— West Anaheim Youth Center, 320 S. Beach Blvd., 714-765-6400.

Fountain Valley:
— The Center at Founders Village, Senior and Community Center, 17967 Bushard St.

Garden Grove:
— H. Louis Lake Senior Center, 11300 Stanford Ave.

La Habra:
— 101 W. La Habra Blvd.

Laguna Woods:
— 24264 El Toro Road

La Palma:
— Cool Center at the La Palma Police Department, 7792 Walker St., 714-690-3370

Newport Beach:
— Newport Coast Community Center, 6401 San Joaquin Hills Road

Seal Beach:
— Marina Community Center, 151 Marina Drive

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