Thousands suffer through heat as TEP works to restore power
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Jul. 2, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Thanks to Monday's storms, thousands of Tucsonans were going on 24 hours with no electricity Tuesday night.
Of course, that means they also had no air conditioning.
As of Tuesday evening, TEP officials estimate 1,100 customers were still without power.
Crews worked into the evening hours to bring that number down to zero.
For residents nearby, that milestone can't come fast enough.
Carol Jordan-Lieber took several second looks at her thermometer.
Sitting just inside her front door, it read 98 degrees.
9OYS reporter Maggie Vespa asked, "What does it feel like in your apartment right now?"
"Very toasty," she said. "Beyond toasty."
She and her husband have spent much of the last 24 hours sitting outside their west side apartment.
"It's extremely stifling. There's very little movement of air," she said.
Tuesday, Tucson Electric Power crews worked to repair poles and lines damaged during Monday night's storm.
At its peak, they estimate 20,000 across the west side, midtown and downtown lost power.
A Red Cross cooling center at Pima Community College's west campus gave residents a needed break.
"With the extreme heat that we are having right now, and the fact that it has been 12 hours plus for some folks, we decided we'd better get something going," said Pam Phillips.
But many were way ahead of them.
"As soon as we got uncomfortable we said 'There's McDonalds!'" said Juliana Clarke, who spent the day at the restaurant with her grandkids.
The Clarke family stayed for a few hours.
Tonight, they got the good news.
"My daughter checked and the power is on," said Clarke. "We're going home!"
TEP officials say that's going to be the trend during the recovery process.
Power will be coming on slowly in different pockets throughout the city.
Officials they hope to have everyone back up and running by Wednesday night.