Inside look: ground zero for APS storm tracking - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Inside look: ground zero for APS storm tracking

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Three thousand, six hundred people lost power during Monday night's storm. In this heat, that can be uncomfortable, but for others who rely on electricity for life-saving equipment, it can be dangerous.

APS can tell there's an outage and can do something about it.

Jacob Tetlow and his employees at APS have been very busy lately in their operations center, where a digital grid shows where the outages are, as well as the location of crucial areas like hospitals or 911 dispatch centers.

Their work to prevent outages starts before the monsoon even hits every summer: "looking at every pole and transformer and every wire to sure they're in good condition, the poles aren't cracked," Tetlow said.

But even if everything looks good, there's still plenty that can go wrong during a big storm.

"Moisture gets into equipment, driving rains, heavy winds. Winds can always cause problems, and if it's a strong enough wind, it'll break poles," Tetlow said.

In fact, that just happened in Arizona City, where a three-mile section of poles was knocked down. It takes a three-man crew several hours to get a pole back up.

APS increases their staffing at night this time of year so they are at the ready when the storm hits.

If you experience an outage, the best thing you can do is call your utility so it knows where it is.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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