Monsoon storms in last week topple over 400 APS power poles across Arizona

Jul 21, 2022, 4:15 AM
(APS Photo)...
(APS Photo)
(APS Photo)

PHOENIX — Monsoon storms over the past week took down more than 400 APS power poles across the state, Arizona’s largest public utility said Wednesday.

A large portion of the damage came during a particularly strong storm on Sunday in parts of Maricopa and Pinal counties that also blew down large transmission towers and power lines, resulting in as many as 32,000 APS customers being left in the dark at one point.

Electricity didn’t return to more than 7,000 APS customers in Eloy and Arizona City until Wednesday morning.

APS said damage from the week of storms, including one on Tuesday night in the Douglas area that blew over more than 70 power poles, surpasses the 290 poles the utility typically replaces every monsoon season.

Crews on Wednesday evening were still working to restore power to the more than 330 customers impacted by Tuesday night’s storm in the southern Arizona city.

“We know it has been a challenging week for customers impacted by the severe storms, and we thank them for their patience, as our crews work safely around the clock to assess and repair the damage in order to get the lights back on,” Tony Tewelis, vice president of transmission and distribution for APS, said in a press release.

“While we monitor the weather daily in order to prepare our crews for possible outage response, exactly where and how severe the monsoon storms hit, can be unpredictable.”

The storm on Sunday also knocked out power at one point just under 39,500 SRP customers in metro Phoenix and resulted in the company needing to replace more than 100 utility poles and 15 power lines.

APS encourages customers to prepare for monsoon storms by creating an emergency supply kit with perishable food items, water, a first-aid kit, a battery-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries and necessary medication.

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Monsoon storms in last week topple over 400 APS power poles across Arizona