Originally Published: March 4, 2017 6 a.m.
As of Friday afternoon, March 3, about 250 homes in southern Prescott and Walker were still without power because of damaged power lines from a storm earlier this week.
This number was down from about 828 on Thursday.
Arizona Public Service spokesperson Annie DeGraw said Friday afternoon that the remaining homes should be back on line that evening or sometime Saturday at the latest.
“The reason it is taking so long is because the roads and everything we need to get to [the damaged poles] have been shut down and are basically impassable,” DeGraw said. “We’ve been working with the Yavapai County maintenance teams and they’ve been amazing helping us clear the roads of trees and snow and everything to help us get in there.”
Many of the homes in those areas that have lost power are summer cabins that are currently not occupied, DeGraw said.
The utility knows this because it has made proactive calls to all of the customers who own those homes to let them know the circumstances of the situation, DeGraw said.
Lengthy power outages can affect different customers in different ways. For many, the basic concern can simply be a matter of perishable foods going to waste due to a lack of cooling.
In such cases, if nature was the cause of the outage, restitution for the damages is not typically provided by the utilities, DeGraw said.
“However, sometimes when we are experiencing storms and there are extended outages, we do have a program where we will do a reimbursement for ice or dry ice,” she said. “We’ve done that before during summer storms, but that’s not obligated by law or any regulating authority. It’s just something we do as customer service, basically.”
Customers of APS who rely on their homes’ power for medical reasons, such as having an oxygen machine, have a different option provided by APS to turn to.
“We call those medically monitored customers,” DeGraw said. “When they become an APS customer, we ask them to sign up for our medically monitored customers program.”
The utility keeps a list of these customers and makes contact with them during power outages to ensure they have what they need to address their medical conditions, DeGraw said.
“But that’s up to the customer to sign up for,” she said.