Extreme heat wave puts USC at risk of power outage

South Los Angeles is experiencing a heatwave reaching triple digit temperatures, putting USC and its students at risk of a power outage.

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Nerves are at an all time high for USC students and faculty alike due to this recent heat wave, which has hovered around triple digits for several days and even put the campus at risk of a blackout.

With record temperatures reaching 97 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday and the possibility of power outages still looming around campus, students have been struggling to deal with the high temperatures.

An alert was sent to some California residents on Sept. 6, encouraging them to conserve energy and reduce nonessential power usage, as well as informing the public that power interruptions may occur.

“We usually just turn one lamp on at night and study in dim light,” said Rania Ahmad, a freshman living at McCarthy Honors Residential College hall.

Steve Goldfarb, the director of USC Fire Safety, said in a statement that the university has emergency response operations plans in the case of a power outage. He also said many buildings already have emergency generators, and they plan to attach additional mobile generators to select buildings.

“The university has an all-hazards, emergency response operations plan, which includes power outages,” Goldfarb said in a statement to Annenberg Media. “When an emergency occurs, including power outages, an emergency operations team assesses the impacts and activates response plans.”

Despite the university’s response plan in case of a power outage, students living on campus are struggling with inconveniences that hinder their academic performance and overall quality of life.

According to Callie Bourne, a freshman living in Pardee Tower, the lack of air conditioning in her building has negatively impacted her sleep and productivity. As a result, she and about 20 other students have been sleeping in the Pardee lounge because it’s “the only place in the building that has air conditioning.”

However, for those living in off-campus apartments and houses not sponsored by the university, the cost and risk of a potential power outage comes with little to no reprieve.

Senior Clara Madenwald said she only keeps her air conditioning on until 4 p.m., leaving her apartment warm throughout the evening.

After experiencing countless blackouts in her neighborhood last year, Madenwald said that she’s “stressed out about blackouts more than anything.”

Taryn Snyder contributed to this report.