Monsoon packs a punch; power restored for thousands

Lightening Strikes! Taken during the Monsoon on Monday night by David Rich Jr. Image by David Rich Jr.

Monsoon packs a punch; power restored for thousands

CREATED Aug 6, 2012

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin

TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - For the third week in a row, storms slammed Tucson, returning thousands of people to the Dark Ages.  Students at three different schools in the Sunnyside District even got an extra day of Summer.

Fierce wind and rain Sunday night took out 15 power poles on Tucson's south side, eliminating electricity for more than 4 thousand people for hours.  One of those was Bob Hall.

"A lot of wind, debris in the air.  Violent sometimes.  Rain was coming down hard," he said about the storm.

Hall got home around 8pm to discover it was lights out.

"Candles, flashlights and be patient," he said.  That patience paid off by Monday morning, when Tucson Electric Power restored electricity using a temporary line while they replace the poles.  Work could take until the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Sunnyside made the decision to cancel school at Gallego Basic Elementary, Los Ninos Elementary, and Chaparral Middle School because of the outage.  Principal John Benavidez says they didn't know power would be restored in the morning. 

"We're worried about the A.C mostly with the kids because it's so hot," he said, "so we decided last night to not hold classes today."

The school used the extra day for a teaching seminar.

"People might think that they were happy," he said, "They were really dejected that we're not having school today because that's what we're looking for, we're anxious for school to start."

TEP crews are still working to replace poles.  Power may go down briefly when they switch to the permanent lines after fixing the poles.