September 7, 2022
A powerful heat wave that began a week ago is forcing colleges and universities across the West Coast to take extra safety precautions, such as providing additional air-conditioned places to study on campus and advising students on how to recognize heat exhaustion. The high temperatures are also prompting some institutions to provide assistance to surrounding communities dealing with sweltering conditions, wildfires and power outages.
Parts of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Utah are under heat advisories and excessive heat warnings from the National Weather Service. Regions in other states, such as Montana, Oregon and Washington State, have received red-flag warnings, indicating potential wildfires.
Campuses in California have been especially hard hit by the climbing temperatures. Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Aug. 31 because of temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees across the state, reaching at least 110 degrees in some areas. The California Independent System Operator, the corporation managing the state’s power grid, reported in a news release Monday that the grid is under strain and residents can expect repeated power outages unless they reduce their energy use.
Laney College in Oakland closed its campus Tuesday because of the heat, according to an email sent to students. Online courses were held, but in-person classes were canceled.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation as the heat advisory continues,” the email read.