Washington state blackouts hit same customers repeatedly

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The rolling blackouts that cut electricity for tens of thousands of Spokane, Washington, residents amid this week’s record-breaking heat wave mostly hit the same power customers repeatedly. Utility officials say they were the result of strains on equipment that couldn’t handle the blistering temperatures. And there was plenty of power available for customers in Spokane despite increased demand. That’s in contrast to the blackouts imposed in Texas last winter amid freezing temperatures, when there wasn’t enough electricity to meet the demand. Avita Utilities officials blamed lack of transmission capacity in Spokane combined with heat strain on equipment for their decision to impose the blackouts as the city’s 217,000 people sweltered.