Downed Line Leaves 5,000 Homes Dark

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Arizona Public Service officials suspect that a construction accident in the Airport Road widening zone cut power for several hours Tuesday to more than 5,000 Arizona Public Service customers throughout the Rim country

Residents in parts of Payson, Payson Ranchos, Mesa del Caballo, Whispering Pines and all points north up to Blue Ridge found themselves without power beginning at 5:15 p.m.

"An overhead 21,000 volt line faulted and burned for reasons still unknown," Payson APS Manager Jim Spencer said. "At the time of the outage, a Town of Payson contractor was working with a trackhoe adjacent to the electric distribution line where the problem originated."

No one was hurt.

Crews responded to the downed line immediately, but the line was not easy to repair quickly, Spencer said.

"Crewmen were able to transfer power flows and restore service to customers throughout the evening," he said.

Workers found themselves with an additional set of challenges when an operational device at the Tonto Substation failed.

"That failure may have been linked to the original distribution line problem on Airport Road," Spencer said. He said the repairs were completed for most Payson residents by 8 p.m., but some were forced to wait until 10:40 before APS workers could make all the necessary repairs.

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