Power outages imminent with monsoon, APS is ready

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
I went up in a bucket (30 feet!) and geared up to climb a pole. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) I went up in a bucket (30 feet!) and geared up to climb a pole. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

In the hot summer months (the season officially hits on June 21), APS always wants you to have power, especially for your air conditioner. The imminent monsoon storms, however, can throw a wrench in that.

That’s why APS linemen are going through drills, preparing for what they could potentially face over the next few months.

The monsoon officially begins on June 15 and runs through the end of September. Those storms can be powerful bringing high winds, dust storms, heavy rain, flash flooding, hail.

[azfamily.com Weather Tools: 7-day Forecast | Alerts | Interactive Radar | Rain Totals]

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"We have prepared all year for what could happen during the monsoon," Scott Khars, an APS troubleman, explained. Troublemen are the ones who determine the source of a problem or outage by checking the power grid and connections to the power sources.

"If the problem is local to a certain area, the electrical troubleman will find it," according to PowerJobsDirect.com. "If it's not, he or she will continue to follow it back to its source until he finds the problem."

[RELATED: How APS gets the lights back on after the storm]

One of the most important things APS wants you to know is that there is a free mobile app that allows you to stay up-to-date on outages, including the estimated time that the power will be back on.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona monsoon 2018]

Khars says if you experience an outage, you need to report it to APS.

“If it's a big event, we should know about it," he explained. "But if it’s only a house or two, we might not know. Call us and we will get someone out as soon as possible.”

[REPORT AN OUTAGE: Online at APS.com | By phone at 855-688-2437 (855-OUTAGES) click to dial from this story on your mobile device]

[CHECK: See current outage map]

With the potential for heavy downpours and strong wind, APS knows there will likely be a downed power pole somewhere. Khars, who has 18 years on the job, warns you to stay away and call 911.

“You can never tell if the wire is live or not. Let us come out and check it," he said. "Even if it ends up being a telecom wire, we’d rather us find that out than you get hurt."

APS also said it’s important for you to have an emergency supply kit with non-perishable food, water, first-aid kit, any medications you might need and emergency backup batteries.

[RELATED: Emergency preparedness app now available in Maricopa County]

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