YUMA, AZ - The record-setting temperatures put strain on the Desert Southwest electrical grid, with Arizona Public Service Electric Company reporting occasional outages of several hundred to thousands of customers in the past 60 days.
In the month of June, APS reported several power outages affecting over 7,000 residents. Power outages cut air conditioning Friday night for over a hundred Yuma residents suffering through triple-digit heat. APS says higher numbers of outages are typical when there are sequential days of high heat.
"Heat can be a big factor in causing outages. One of the things heat can do is it can actually burst transformers. So transformers are the gray metal box usually that sit on top of power poles. When those get over a certain temperature they can pop right up and that will cause that line to go out. Now, APS does have redundancy built into the system that means if one line does need to be switched off, maybe lets say to a transformer coming off, we have other lines that are built to be able to pick up that power," says Annie Degraw an APS spokesperson.
If you find yourself in the dark and need to keep your food cool, those affected by outages can be reimbursed for the purchase of up to 40 pounds of wet bagged ice or 20 pounds of dry ice.