APS restores power to 32,000 customers after powerful monsoon storms
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Cochise County has lights and air conditioning after a strong monsoon storm wiped out power earlier this week.
This monsoon is already breaking records when it comes to damage.
Just this week, severe weather wiped out power to more than 32,000 Arizona Public Service customers across the state.
Richard Rosales is the public affairs manager for APS.
“It was an extensive storm that we haven’t seen this type of damage in a long time,” Rosales said.
Rosales spent the first part of his week in the Eloy area, helping distribute water and ice to customers who lost their power.
“Right away, we got I think 10,000 pounds of dry ice,” Rosales said.
Eloy and Arizona City saw the worst of the damage, leaving roughly 7,000 customers with extended outages from Sunday night through Wednesday morning.
Some customers cooled off at a school gym as crews that came in from all over state worked around the clock to repair power poles.
As soon as Pinal County customers had their power restored, a destructive storm tore through Cochise County, leaving 330 customers without power.
Rosales said 71 power poles were down in Douglas alone.
Just this week, APS crews worked to replace more than 400 structures.
“Comparing that to a normal monsoon, we usually replace 250 poles, so we are almost double that,” Rosales said.
Repairs are not cheap.
“Those big structures cost a lot of money and lots of manpower to replace, so it’s going to be in the millions of dollars,” Rosales said.
Rosales said crews are replacing wooden poles with steel ones, in hopes they can better withstand future storms..
Since we are not done with Monsoon yet, those new poles may be put to the test.
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