|Written by Lu Stitt|
|Wednesday, 23 July 2008 13:01|
A storm that blew through the Verde Valley Saturday, July 19, caused power problems and damage in Verde Village Units 1, 2 and 3 and in Cornville.
The high winds blew down 10 Arizona Public Service power poles along Prairie Lane from Cliff View to Mesa drives.
About 4,700 customers went without power until Sunday, July 20, or Monday morning, July 21, according to Senior Customer Service Representative Gari Basham at the Cottonwood APS office.
“There were no poles down in Cornville, but the power went out. The ones that went down carried the feeder line that serves Cornville. Once we found the trouble, our operations center in Prescott was able to start switching power around,” Basham said.
To help out, APS had 20,000 pounds of dry ice delivered to Cornville people for them to keep their food chilled and frozen.
By Monday morning, Cornville still had no power, nor did people along the east side of Cliff View Drive.
Along with the new poles and electric lines, the crews needed to replace two transformers.
“I think everybody is back in service now,” Basham said.
APS crews from Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott and Cottonwood worked through the night Saturday, July 19, and Sunday, July 20, into Monday replacing the poles and damaged equipment.
Basham said the storm build-up was tremendous.
There was a lot of height to the clouds, so there was a lot of wind within the storm. When it hit the Verde Village area, it came with incredible force.
“You could see afterward that the poles behind Cliff View were pushed west and the ones down Prairie Lane toward Unit 1 were pushed north. It’s like the wind came down and split in two directions,” Basham said.
Many homes in the area lost a lot of shingles and several fences were pushed down by the wind. A cherry tree in one front yard was completely uprooted. Several large junipers were blown so hard they leaned westward, but remained rooted.
“We were sitting in the living room and felt the vibration of it — the wind and the tree falling. There was dirt all over the front porch,” Patrick Thorne, 13, said.
Paul David’s fence blew over as he watched from his kitchen. When he heard the tree fall, he looked out front and saw the poles go down.
“The poles snapped like toothpicks. I couldn’t believe how much damage was done in such a short time,” David said.
In Verde Village Unit 3, along East Granite Drive in the 3000 block, a trailer had its carport blown down and cooler knocked over.
During the monsoon storm season, the winds coming in with the storms can be very strong and can cause considerable damage. David said this storm was not a tornado as many thought, but it had extremely strong winds.