Photo by Laura Cai: Due to a power outage, senior Anna Cai works on her AP Computer Science homework with her cellular data. Without access to the internet, many students like Cai struggle with turning in assignments on time.

LA County and SGV Blackouts amid distance learning, students disrupted

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Due to increased electricity consumption and higher temperatures, power outages have occurred repeatedly from as early as Sept. 3. Many students found themselves at a disadvantage during these occurrences.

Some students had their electricity cut for hours, and some had no power for days. Senior Anna Cai found it difficult to turn in her homework on time, as power outages forced her to adjust her schedule and work habits.

“I spent my Friday destressing from the rigorous work,” Cai said. “Little did I know that my electricity would be out for 12 hours the following day, preventing me from doing my school work, which is now all assigned online.”

In the high heat, food began to spoil as refrigerators failed to function. Sophomore Amy Lac said that rotting food was left until the power returned, when food could be properly examined and cleaned accordingly. This lack of a necessity made the family repurchase everything they had in their fridge.

“We had to dump everything out, it was really costly to stock up again,” Lac said. “It felt like such a waste because my mom keeps her special herbs and everything inside our fridge. A paycheck can only cover so much, and the fact we had to rebuy was really disappointing.”

A heatwave that at some point reached 114°F was felt by students across the San Gabriel Valley. Junior Steve Troung said that the heat proved to be dangerous to his family and himself. 

“The heat was my biggest struggle as I could not really do anything because it was so hot outside, which was dangerous to my grandma and me, as I have asthma,” Truong said. “I just made sure that both of us didn’t go out as we were susceptible to heatstroke.”

The California Independent System Operator has directed Southern California Edison to implement electrical power load measures, including turning off any unnecessary appliances from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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