Thousands without power after southern Arizona storm
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Thousands remain without power Tuesday afternoon after a monsoon storm ripped though the Eloy area Sunday night.
Arizona Public Service hopes to have power restored to the Eloy area by Tuesday at 8 p.m.
APS set up two shelters at area schools help people stay cool as crews from around the state worked to restore power.
Volunteers tell us 108 people filled the Toltec elementary school gymnasium Monday evening.
By Tuesday afternoon roughly 50 people including senior citizens, children and pets, remained.
The powerful storm took out Thomas Kimble’s power on Sunday night in Arizona City.
“It feels like one of the harshest ones we’ve had,” Kimble said.
Kimble said he is sleeping at home, but cooling off at the shelter during the day.
“The first night was fine, but last night was really, really tough. It was about 93 degrees in our home and I have a little generator that can run the fridge and can run the fan, but it was pretty tough last night,” Kimble said.
Kimble said he’s thankful the Eloy shelter is open not just for him, but also for his 10-year-old dog, Bruce.
“He means the world to me, so that’s why he is here,” Kimble said.
Arizona City resident, Elizabeth, said the heat forced her family out of their home on Sunday night.
“We slept in the car the first night with the AC on all night,” Elizabeth said. “It was six of us sleeping in this car.”
On Tuesday, Elizabeth picked up ice from one of the distribution centers in Eloy, but with the high demand, resources were dwindling. They had already run out of dry ice and water.
Jayce Velarde and his family live in Eloy and he said finding a hotel in the area is nearly impossible. Fortunately, he lucked out.
“When we got to the hotel, it was sold out. Thank God we called early enough,” Velarde said.
Velarde said some of his older family members chose to stay in their homes.
“They both didn’t want to leave their houses. We were able to get ice to them too. At least some people are here trying to help. That is what really matters,” Velarde said.
Eloy Mayor Micah Powell said Southern Arizona has really come through with donations.
“Local establishments all the way to Bashas and Frys, they don’t have a presence here, but they are reaching out which helps out big time in a small community like this,” Powell said.
Andy Salazar lives in Casa Grande, but drove in donations of food and water.
“It was time to step up and do something big,” Salazar said.
“Our president was here and he’s been with APS for two decades and hasn’t seen a storm this substantial,” said Richard Rosales with APS.
Rosales said it’s hard to estimate right now, but the cost of the damage is significant.
“Millions and millions of dollars in damage,” Rosales said.
Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.