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After active monsoon season, APS is ready for winter weather

Customers can take steps now to be ready, safe if winter storms knock out power

Ensuring reliable power for customers is a priority for Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) no matter the season. Arizona is drying out from the wettest monsoon season since 2014; some parts of the state received more than 200% their normal rainfall. Powerful storms packed with wind and lightning damaged more than 270 APS power poles, but crews were ready to safely and quickly replace them and restore power to impacted customers. More than 170 poles came down in July 2021 alone compared to just seven poles in July 2020. Preparing for extreme weather never stops for APS.

“Our customers rely on power 24 hours every day in every season. That’s why we work year-round to make sure our crews are prepared to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at us,” said Jacob Tetlow, APS Executive Vice President of Operations. “This summer, Arizona experienced more than 407,000 cloud-to-ground lighting strikes, six consecutive days with temperatures at or above 115 degrees and more than 1,400 wildfires across the state. Our crews are well trained and equipped to manage these tough conditions, all with the goal to keep the lights on and restore power quickly when it’s knocked out.”

How APS prepares for winter emergencies

Winter storms, especially in Northern Arizona, can cause major damage to the electric system and sometimes the biggest challenge is to get crews and equipment where it is needed. APS takes proactive steps even before winter arrives.

 

  • APS strategically positions specialized vehicles and equipment throughout northern Arizona to ensure crews can access critical infrastructure located in forested areas where terrain can be challenging and unreachable by typical bucket trucks.
  • Crews inspect all overhead lines and identify and address needed repairs.
  • APS readies personnel and support outside of the northern region to deploy whenever and wherever more help is needed to restore service for customers.
  • Sign up for outage alerts or report outages at aps.com/outages. During an outage, customers can check the online outage map to track power restoration times. Customers can also download the APS mobile app to stay connected to outage updates.

“We prepare, and then we prepare some more,” said Tetlow. “We want our customers to know that our entire team is dedicated to providing reliable power across the state – rain, shine, sleet or snow.” 

How customers can be ready and safe this winter

While APS is working behind the scenes to keep the electrical system resilient and be ready to make repairs after storm damage, extreme winter weather can still leave customers without power at times. 
Customers can take simple steps now to be prepared: 

  • Place flashlights and extra batteries in handy locations.
  • Keep important phone numbers such as those of medical providers, family, friends and APS stored in your cell phone or by your home phone.
  • Customers can report outages or electrical emergencies by calling our 24/7 Outage Hotline at 602-371-3680 (855-688-2437).
  • If you use life-sustaining medical equipment that requires electricity, call to register for the APS Medical Care Program at 602-371-7171 (800-253-9405). This alerts APS of your needs in the event of an outage.
  • Stock up on water and non-perishable food items.
  • If you have an electric garage door, be sure you know how to open it manually in case you are without power.
  • Keep your phone fully charged and have a portable charger on hand, if possible.

“Our customers rely on power 24 hours every day in every season. That’s why we work year-round to make sure our crews are prepared to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at us”

Jacob Tetlow, APS Executive Vice President of Operations

APS workers working on power lines in the snow
APS serves more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering affordable, clean and reliable energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’s current energy mix is 50% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

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