Bobcat Cuts Power To P-S Homes

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Residents of Pine and Strawberry were without power for more than two hours Monday evening after a bobcat strayed into a Strawberry substation, and shorted out a transformer.

About 9 p.m. the outage was reported to Arizona Public Service officials who immediately sent crews to the area.

According to APS construction supervisor George Coleman, the workmen were able to bypass the breaker and return electrical service to the two mountain communities after 11 p.m.

Electrical service to Payson was not interrupted, but many residents noticed a sudden dip in power, known as a "brown out."

The bobcat was killed in the incident, Coleman said. Having an animal stray into a substation is nothing unusual for APS service men.

"A few years ago we had a fox get into the Tonto Substation, going after a (bird) nest, and we lost power in Payson," APS District Manager Jim Spencer said.

In rural areas like Pine and Strawberry, substations are inspected frequently to ensure they are free of attractions, such as bird nests, that would entice wild animals.

"Unfortunately, sometimes those critters get in there," Spencer said.

At press time on Tuesday, APS crews in Payson were awaiting the arrival of a new breaker from Phoenix.

According to Coleman, replacing the electrical devise is a time-consuming task, but the repairs should be completed by late Tuesday afternoon.

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