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Thu, Feb. 27

APS racing to restore full power

The punch from the storm that swept through the tri-city area this week was a challenge to Arizona Public Service employees.

Mike Johnsen, community relations manager for APS in Prescott, said crews continue to restore power to homes and businesses.

Johnsen did not know how many transformers the storm hit. He said Friday that APS crews replaced around a dozen power poles and believes that number could climb as efforts to restore power in areas like Groom Creek proceed.

"There are expectations that we're going to have a number of poles that we will have to replace in there," he said.

As for how crews decide how to attack repairs, the number of calls from an area doesn't necessarily dictate that, according to Johnsen.

As Johnsen explained, crews came together early Friday morning to map out a plan.

"We did a reassessment and then outlined the human resources and the equipment necessary that we thought was appropriate for the situations based on the knowledge that we had," he said.

Johnsen said different situations call for different resources, and while an onslaught of calls can come from one area, the repair might be a fairly small one and easy to reach.

The opposite is a community like Groom Creek, according to Johnsen.

"We have to put added resources in there because it's a heavily forested area that we're going to have to go in with more manpower, more equipment," he said.

As for the cost, Johnsen said it's tough to peg right now, but he estimates that it could reach six figures.

According to Johnsen, the reason is the labor hours and equipment costs to make repairs is still fluid, as is the cost from service disruptions.

"We need to sell electricity and if the power's off we're not selling electricity," he said.

To report a power failure, call (800) 253-9405.

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