A snapped power line left most of Pine without power from about 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8. A resident saw a power line dangling over the storage area at Uncle Tom’s Chevron at the north end of Pine and called 911.
In case the wire was live, Pine-Strawberry Fire Department (PSFD) Capt. Joel Brandt and his crew staged at Uncle Tom’s, keeping people and vehicles away from the area until Arizona Public Service (APS) crews arrived.
The wire was lying on equipment and storage lockers, all of which could have conducted electricity to an unsuspecting passerby, said firefighters.
APS crews verified that this was the only line that broke but could not determine why and set about getting it fixed to restore power to the community. The cause will probably remain a mystery, said APS Supervisor Max Ryden.
“The line broke. It’s a rare occurrence, and we don’t know exactly what happened,” Ryden said. “It’s weird to us as well.”
A line break can be as simple as equipment failure, high winds, an object hitting it or even vandalism. None of these causes can be identified or ruled out, Ryden said.
As the power was being restored, Ryden offered advice to all APS customers. When there is a power outage, turn off heaters, or in the summer, the air conditioner. These appliances pull a heavy load on the electrical supply. As power is restored, a heavy pull can cause breakers to trip. The effect being that crews have to turn the system on in small sections (neighborhoods) at a time. Once power is restored, give it about 15 to 30 minutes before turning them back on.