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Severe monsoon storms take down more than 400 APS power poles in one week
APS encourages customers to prepare for more storms throughout the weekend
Arizona’s 2022 monsoon season is already breaking records - and it’s not over yet. Due to several severe storms that have rolled through communities across the state in the span of one week, APS crews have been working to replace well over 400 power poles. In comparison, APS crews typically replace approximately 290 poles every monsoon season.
The National Weather Service on Saturday through Sunday issued severe thunderstorm warnings in multiple portions of NW Pinal and Maricopa counties, identifying wind speeds of up to 60 mph into Sunday night. In addition to poles, the winds blew down large transmission towers and power lines that transmit electricity from our power plants and distribute it to homes and businesses. At the height of the storms, 32,000 APS customers were without power. While most customers saw their power restored within hours, Eloy and Arizona City sustained the worst of the damage and approximately 7,000 customers experienced extended outages through Wednesday morning. In addition, a powerful storm Tuesday night blew through the Douglas area toppling more than 70 power poles, and crews are working to restore the 330 customers impacted.
“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.” said Tony Tewelis, Vice President of Transmission & Distribution for APS. “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. As we prepare for what could be another active weekend of monsoon storms, rest-assured that our crews will be ready to respond as quickly and safely as they can.”
Monsoon season officially lasts through the end of September, so we encourage customers to prepare ahead of storms:
- Create an emergency supply kit in case of a prolonged outage. The pack should contain non-perishable food items, water, a first-aid kit, a battery-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries, important phone numbers, portable phone charger and any necessary medication.
- If you have an automatic garage door, check the instructions to learn how to open it manually.
- Ensure your contact information with APS is up to date. Sign in to your aps.com account or call the APS Customer Care Center at (602) 371-7171 to update your email, text and phone numbers so APS can reach you in the event of an outage.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage. Objects found in a typical backyard -- such as umbrellas, kiddie pools and even trampolines -- can be swept up by high monsoon winds and end up in power lines, causing outages.
After a storm hits, be safe around electricity. Always assume electrical equipment is energized and if you see a downed power line, stay at least 100 feet away, call 911 and then call APS.
If you use life-support medical equipment that requires electricity, call 602-371-7171 to register for our Medical Preparedness Program. This alerts us of your needs in the event of a disruption in service. For more safety tips you can use year-round, visit aps.com/safety.