Power Restored for 150,000 Mesa, Apache Junction Residents After Salt River Project Transformer Fire
After yesterday's equipment failure, Salt River Project officials say power is back on for nearly 150,000 Mesa and Apache Junction residents and businesses left sweltering in extreme summer heat.
The power outage was caused when an SRP transformer caught fire yesterday about 11:45 a.m.
Mesa fire crews were able to control the flames within a few hours, but tens of thousands of residents were left in the dark as SRP tried to transfer power from other areas.
Power wasn't completely restored until about 11:30 p.m. last night, SRP officials tell New Times.
"We got people's power rolling back on throughout the evening," SRP spokesman Jeff Lane says. "A lot of customers were certainly upset, but we had crews working all night long to get customers back on and to stabilize the situation."
An emergency shelter was set up at the Mesa Convention Center to help those who needed a reprieve from the heat. Area hospitals were forced to rely on backup generators for hours until the power was fully restored.
Bags of ice were delivered to Mesa and Apache Junction Fry's grocery stores and handed out to residents for free.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but SRP officials are launching an investigation. They hope to find answers within the next few weeks.