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State In Stage One Power Alert

Managers of California´s power grid have declared the first Stage One power alert of 2002.

That means the state´s supply of extra power exceeds demand by just seven percent. If power supplies continue to dwindle, officials will be forced to call a Stage Three alert, which means rolling blackouts.

Gregg Fishman is a spokesman for the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state´s power grid. He says a power plant went offline today because of mechanical problems.

Triple-digit temperatures throughout the state have residents and businesses cranking up the air conditioning. Fishman says it´s vital to conserve electricity between three and six this afternoon to avoid rolling blackouts.