New Record Set: High Temps Lead to Record Demands for Power - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

New Record Set: High Temps Lead to Record Demands for Power

ERCOT says high temps this week could lead to several record-setting days

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    The record demand for power from Texas' power grid was topped twice Wednesday, due in no small part to excessive triple-digit heat that remains in the forecast for the next several days.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reports first record-breaking demand for power was set between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. where statewide peak demand reached 71,438 MW (megawatts).

    That record was broken again the next hour, when peak demand reached 72,192 MW, 25,469 of which was from the DFW-area.

    Both numbers eclipsed the previous record of 71,110 MW set in August 2016.

    With excessive heat warnings in effect Thusday and Friday, the record may be toppled several more times this week.

    "Texans continue to deal with extreme heat across the state as ERCOT and electricity providers are working diligently to ensure they have the power they need to keep cool. We fully expect to keep hitting new demand records as summer 2018 continues," ERCOT said Wednesday.

    Earlier in the week, ERCOT said operators are constantly monitoring the grid's condition to keep power flowing uninterrupted.

    A single megawatt supplies enough energy to power roughly 200 homes during periods of high use.

    ERCOT oversees 90 percent of Texas' power grid, powering about 24 million customers in DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Abilene and the Rio Grande Valley. A map of the ERCOT region can be seen here.

    North Texas remains under a Heat Advisory until 7 p.m. Wednesday. An Excessive Heat Warning goes into effect at 1 p.m. Thursday and is expected to stay in place until 7 p.m. Friday.

    Heat Advisory Precautions
     
    With such oppressive heat in the forecast, North Texans are reminded to check on their friends and loved ones with health problems as they may be among the most susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
     
    As always, never leave young children or pets unattended in an enclosed vehicle, even for a short amount of time, as temperatures can quickly rise to threatening levels.
     
    Pets should not be left unattended outdoors for more than a few minutes.
     
    Water is the cornerstone to staying safe this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials said it's important to start drinking before becoming thirsty and if you know you're going to be out in the heat, begin drinking water the night before.
     
    Officials recommend staying indoors, but anyone who must be outside should drink a cup of water about every 20 minutes and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
     
    Symptoms of Heat Stroke: CDC
     
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of heat stroke include hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high body temperature, confusion/dizziness and slurred speech.
     
    Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke: Call 911 and notify their supervisor. Move the sick worker to a cool shaded area. Cool the worker using methods such as: Soaking their clothes with water. Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water. Fanning their body.

     
    Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion: CDC
     
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness and confusion, nausea, clammy or moist skin, pale or flushed complexion, muscle cramps, slightly elevated body temperature and fast or shallow breathing.
     
    Treat a worker suffering from heat exhaustion with the following: Have them rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area. Have them drink plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Have them take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
     
     
    Dos and Don'ts in Extreme Heat