The Grinch visited some Payson residents this holiday season, with four major outages in the past week.
A car that hit a pole accounted for one outage affecting 1,900 customers, but the other three outages affecting a total of about 3,400 customers were blamed on normal "wear and tear" of the system, according to Dan Wool, Public Information Officer for Arizona Public Service.
The largest and most recent outage knocked out power to most of downtown Payson on Thursday, Dec. 27. Some 2,950 customers lost power for about two hours starting at 10:48 p.m. when a primary cable "failed," said Wool. The outage affected customers east of McLane Road and south of Bonita Street.
"All but 65 customers had power restored by midnight, and the others had electricity by 1 a.m.," he said. It was mostly Payson West that was affected," Wool added.
The next biggest outage took place on Saturday, Dec. 22, when a car ran off the road and severed a power pole near milepost post marker 277 on Highway 260, about a mile outside of Star Valley. The accident cut power for about 90 minutes to 1,900 residents on the east side of Christopher Creek, in the Forest Lakes area, and in Young at about 9 p.m.
Details on the accident and the condition of the driver were not available from DPS.
The ultimate Grinch outage took place on Christmas morning, when about 300 residents of the Woodland Hills area, on the west side of town near Rumsey Park, lost power at 4 a.m. Christmas morning, just as the most ambitious children were staking out the Christmas trees.
In that case, a feeder funneling power from the lines to a set of transformers went out early Tuesday morning, leaving residents without heat or lights for roughly two hours.
"Power to residents was lost for a short period, but was restored just after 6 a.m.," Wool said.
APS has not determined the cause of the transformer feeder failure.
Finally, 12 APS customers in Payson on West Cherry Road lost power last Wednesday, Dec. 26, from 9:45 to 11:45.
"A transformer went out on the pole at the intersection of South Colcord Road and West Cherry Road," Wool said.
He said the transformer failure was not uncommon.
All of the failures or outages come from normal wear and tear that happens to equipment, Wool said. He noted that APS line technicians inspect equipment on a regular basis.