Storm Buries Pine

The storm hinted at a White Christmas on mountains around Payson, but buried Pine in a foot of snow.

The storm hinted at a White Christmas on mountains around Payson, but buried Pine in a foot of snow. Photo by Pete Aleshire. |

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A strong winter storm last weekend wreaked havoc on some Rim Country residents, knocking power out and spurring vehicle slide offs.

A strong winter storm last weekend wreaked havoc on some Rim Country residents, knocking power out and spurring vehicle slide offs.

More than a foot of snow fell in Pine-Strawberry. In Forest Lakes, the storm dumped at least two feet.

However, the snow proved fleeting in Payson, where a dusting quickly melted.

In Pine, the snow forced residents to dust off their winter gear. One woman, stranded in her home Saturday after the snowfall, decided to make the best of the situation and get out her snowshoes for a romp through the woods.

Roundup reporter and Pine resident Max Foster said a power outage prevented him from enjoying the weather. He said he had enough to do just keeping his family warm.

About 11 a.m. Saturday, power went out for some 200 Pine residents. For Foster, the power stayed out roughly 11 hours.

APS said a combination of ice and snow on power lines and toppling trees caused numerous power outages.

Steve Quinn, Arizona northeast area manager with APS, said the rugged terrain in Pine and Strawberry makes it difficult for crews to reach the lines and make the necessary repairs. He said APS brought in extra crews from the Valley to help.

“It was pretty significant,” he said of the storm. “We had a lot of people on the ground to get power back on.”

A number of factors determine where crews prioritize their efforts. Quinn said APS has a list of addresses with residents on medical monitoring equipment. If power goes out to one of those homes, crews try to get a generator out quickly.

Luckily, crews have time to regroup. The National Weather Service says winter weather will take a respite through Tuesday. Another cold Pacific storm will move quickly across Arizona Tuesday afternoon, bringing rain and snow to Rim Country. Significant snow is expected in areas above 5,000 feet.

Then expect dry conditions late Wednesday though Friday.

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