APS spokeswoman Annie DeGraw gives tips on how to prepare for the monsoon in Arizona.
Electric company linemen make sure your lights, air conditioning and other devices are up and running as soon as possible after a power outage.
Their job becomes particularly important during Arizona’s monsoon, when late-day storms can bring high winds and lightning that can disrupt power to thousands of homes and businesses.
Arizona Public Service linemen are preparing for the monsoon, which officially begins June 15 and continues through September.
At the same time, some also are preparing for another event: A lineman rodeo competition this Saturday in Utah, where they will show off their skills. Their preparation is taking place in an APS training yard on Buckeye Road.
This kind of rodeo does not include bulls or horses, according to Annie DeGraw, APS spokeswoman.
Instead, lineman work with harnesses, poles and 185-pound dummies. The rodeo competitions are all about speed, she said.
The competition practice actually serves a dual purpose by helping lineman prepare for the busy monsoon.
“You’re training to see how fast you can get to the top of a pole, how quickly you can take someone down if there’s a safety issue, how quickly you can restring a wire,” she said.
APS aims to quickly restore power in outages
Lineman Scott Kahrs has been with Phoenix-based APS for 17 years and has competed in rodeos since 2003.
While he enjoys competing in the rodeos, his work to make sure electricity is humming quickly after an outage is his main point of pride, particularly during the monsoon.
“I work in operations and maintenance,” Kahrs said. “We basically fix broken stuff and if there’s any outage, we’re the ones that respond to that to get the lights back on.”
APS, which serves a large part of the Phoenix-metro area as well as other areas of the state, has been evaluating its system ahead of the monsoon, DeGraw said. Part of that includes making sure the company has enough people and materials available for deployment this summer.
APS has specific people who track the weather throughout the state to get a better idea of where resources are needed, she said.
APS workers respond to all areas in its service territory regardless of time or day to restore power during an outage.
But DeGraw said residents should be prepared with a “go kit,” especially during the monsoon, with helpful supplies in the event of a power outage that can not only knock out lights, but air conditioning, refrigerators and telephones that are connected to land lines.
Items to have in your “Go Kit”
- Non-perishable food.
- Car charger for cellphone.
Go to aps.com, call APS or download the APS app for the most up-to-date information on where power outages are located or when it will be restored.
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