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Powerful winds split utility poles in north Phoenix, many without power

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 01:01:44-05

PHOENIX — Powerful winds took down a row of utility poles near 31st Avenue and Union Hills Drive in north Phoenix on Monday. Some came very close to homes and even caused one small fire.

"When we stop to think about it, if these lines would've come any further down our house would've probably started on fire as well. Yeah we're lucky, very lucky," says Ted & Georgia Nelson, homeowners.

A power outage affected more than 1,500 customers in the area.

Crews are currently working to remove the snapped poles and replace them with new ones.

The winds also caused other types of damage along its path.

"I heard a loud crack and then another boom and I wound up with somebody's shed in the backyard and my mesquite tree in the street," says homeowner Barry Millard.

Barry Millard got straight to work - cutting the tree up and hauling it away.

His next-door neighbors offered to lend a hand.

Millard says someone's shed also ended up slamming into his backyard, narrowly missing his dog.

He has no idea who it belongs to.

"I would say this is the worst one as far as being abrupt. We had one years ago that was pretty gnarly but this thing was quick," says Millard.

As Millard cleans up, the Nelsons are packing up.

Firefighters told the couple that it isn't safe to be home until the poles are removed.

They, like many others, still can't believe the intensity of the storm.

"It rained so hard and it blew so hard. We came from Nebraska and we know what wind is like and it was like tornado-type wind. I venture to say it was between 80 and 100 miles an hour. I've never seen wind down here like that," says Nelson.

APS says power should be restored overnight but crews are expected to be working along 31st Avenue from Topeka Road to Union Hills Drive for the next several days.