Thousands Without Power Amid Intense SoCal Heat Wave; Outage Prompts School Closures in Colton

Thousands of Southern Californians already dealing with the most intense heat wave of the year were also without power Thursday, including the majority of the city of Colton, where classes have been canceled at multiple schools.

Lightning hit Colton's main substation, damaging all the main feeds, Colton Public Utilities posted on Facebook.

Power in the area was expected to be out for at least eight to 10 hours, according to the post, which stated the utility was without phone service and would be updating the public exclusively through social media. About 50,000 Colton residents – the vast majority of the city – were without power, city fire Capt. David Santos said.

Most of the city regained power by midafternoon, but then a blown transformer was reported about 4 p.m.

The city utility urged residents to conserve energy.

With temperatures expected to soar into the triple digits Thursday, several schools in Colton canceled classes for the day.

"It was like you were trapped in an oven," one little girl told KTLA of the conditions outdoors.

More than 6,300 customers  were without power in the San Bernardino area Thursday, according to the Southern California Edison website. Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and Rialto were among the cities reporting outages. Another 4,400-plus customers were affected in Riverside and about 3,071 customers were without power at one point in the Los Angeles area, according to Edison.

The outages come as Southern California remains under a scorching heat wave.

Prolonged dry conditions are expected to continue through the weekend, bringing with them an elevated risk of more outages and fire danger, according to the National Weather Service.

A list of cooling centers in the Inland Empire can be found here. Los Angeles County cooling centers are listed here.