Heat wave ending

August 25 The heat wave that began last weekend and settled over the OPPD service territory and much of the country this week is set to end tonight. But today will still see dangerous heat with peak heat indices of 100 to 105 degrees across southeast Nebraska, including Omaha and parts of the OPPD service territory.

The National Weather Service extended their excessive heat warning one more day through tonight. We have been in an excessive heat warning for six of the seven days this week. Yesterday was the hottest day of the heat wave as the high was 104 degrees.

Customers can still do their part in saving on electricity consumption today to keep their bills low and help us keep the system healthy through this last day of excessive heat.

For instance, if 10,000 customers raised the temperature on their thermostats by 3 degrees, the reduction in OPPD’s demand would be roughly equivalent to powering 10 grocery stores or 1,000 homes.

Other tips include:

  • Adjust thermostats up a few degrees if using an air conditioner.
  • Use dampers on ductwork to balance airflow throughout your home if one room is colder or warmer than another. Closing registers should be a last resort of dampers are not available.
  • Seal external doors and windows with weather stripping and close shades during the day.
  • Avoid washing and drying clothes or running dishwashers in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Avoid “phantom” power losses by switching computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use, or shutting them off entirely. Unplug electronics when not in use. Use a central power strip that can turn off multiple devices at once.

This the hottest stretch in the area since 2012. The temperature was 100 degrees or higher across the OPPD service territory from July 22 to July 25 that year, said Becky Kern, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Valley.

Temperatures haven’t been as high during this heat wave – only two of the seven days this week have reached 100 degrees, but humidity has been “atrocious,” Kern said. Monday, Aug. 21, the heat index reached 121 degrees. The humidity has made for tropical conditions and is a big reason temperatures have only reached 100 degrees two out of the five days this week.

An excessive heat watch has been in effect for the area since Monday. The heat wave is expected to end Saturday when a cold front moves in.

Extreme weather also tends to bring out opportunistic scammers. OPPD and other utilities across the region and nation tend to see scam activity targeting customers pick up when stories of extreme weather conditions make the news. Thieves may call or text customers, posing as the utility, trying to get customers to make a payment they don’t actually owe. They threaten to disconnect power if a payment isn’t made. These callers know utility customers are particularly vulnerable in this kind of heat, when electricity is vital, and they want to take advantage of that.

Calls like this are NEVER legitimate. OPPD does not cold call customers demanding immediate payment, and we do not disconnect power when the heat index is this high. If you receive one of these phone calls, hang up. Dial OPPD directly at 402-536-4131 in the Omaha calling area or 877-536-4131 outside of the Omaha area if you have any questions.

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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He formerly worked as a staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.