The beginning of monsoon season this year has been particularly severe for some Tacna residents.
Joyce Kerns, a 26-year resident of Tacna, said that she has rarely seen storms as intense as the ones on Sunday and Tuesday nights.
Power outages from the series of storms lasted long enough to spoil $200 worth of food in her refrigerator, Kerns said, and in Sunday's storm, her eucalyptus tree was uprooted and landed on a neighbor's carport. The series of storms has also ripped up patches of her roof, and there are many other homes in the neighborhood that have suffered similar damage, she said. One mobile home had an entire room sheered from it and blown half a mile down the road.
The most common reports, said Elston Grubaugh, general manager of the Wellton Mohawk Irrigation District, have been of fallen tree branches, which hit homes and cars or litter and block the roads. His crew has been hard at work clearing these blockages, and as of Wednesday morning, he said he thought all the harmful debris had been cleared from the area. Irrigation district property has also suffered moderate damage from the storms. Winds downed six power lines, and rainfall, as much as 3 inches in some areas, caused canals to swell and some roads to wash out, he said.
Though there is no estimate on the total damage yet, replacing the power poles alone will cost $5,400, Grubaugh said.
Nonetheless, Grubaugh is not worried about the irrigation district's ability to meet the demands created by the storm.
“With a couple of clear days, we'll have everything cleaned up,” he said.
Though some areas have been hit more severely than others, Grubaugh said overall, the storms have been what should typically be expected this time of year.
“Tuesday night was a bit more than usual, but not extraordinary for the monsoons.”
Power outages, downed trees, and the occasional flooding are all to be expected this time of year, though that doesn't make them any less inconvenient for residents, he pointed out.
In order to limit the number of outages, Grubaugh recommends that residents with trees close to power lines call Wellton Mohawk Irrigation District, which will trim back branches which could cause outages during a storm. Doing so is just one way to make the monsoon season as uneventful as possible, he said.