A brief but strong wind burst that came out of the blue resulted in a lengthy power outage for a significant portion of Yuma, last Friday afternoon.

It was such a strong burst that it lifted a rather large empty swimming pool and deposited it on top of power lines along Elm St. and W. Grant Ave. at the north end of town.

City Manager Scott Moore said it impacted the North Circuit of the city’s electrical system, knocking out power for a large portion of town for roughly 90 minutes. It included several businesses along Highway 34 at the east end of town.

The burst apparently blew through the far north end of Yuma.

Duane Brown was at his home on Apache when what he described as a “whirlwind” suddenly rocked the neighborhood at approximately 12 noon.

“All of a sudden, out of the blue, there was this big wind, and it lasted maybe as much as a minute,” he said. “Then not more than a minute later, the power went down.”

Brown called the city, which already know about the power outage, but he also informed them of the wind burst, which city crew was not aware of because it was so localized.

The Electric Department staff headed up that way, and found the pool sitting on top of the power lines.

They utilized two bucket trucks, along with five or six staff members from other city departments, to cut and then lift the pool off the wires.

A swimming pool sits on top of power lines 30 feet above the ground, lifted there by a strange wind event last Frdiay. (Photo courtesy of Todd Harper)

It turns out the pool belongs to the Benjamin and Angie Weathers family. Benjamin said he was not home when it happened. However, a neighbor witnessed the strange phenomenon. He said the neighbor told him she saw it go straight up and then back down, and then it flew up so high she had to bend over to look out her window to see where it went.

What goes up must come down.

The pool came down right on the power lines, which hang about 30 feet above the ground. It took a while but the pool finally caused the lines to slap together, causing the power outage.

It’s amazing enough that such a large above-ground pool could get pulled into the air so high. Even more remarkable is that Weathers said there were about eight inches of water sitting on the bottom. He said it never moved an inch during all the high winds during the winter, “and then for whatever it was to do that, it was just wild.”

He said the city workers told him they had taken trampolines and other items out of power lines before, “but never pools.”

Ironically, he had just finished planting corn and was getting ready to prepare the pool for the summer season. He will have to get another pool as the one that took flight now has a big burn area.

“I still can’t believe it,” Weathers said. “At first I was not in a great mood seeing my pool on the wires, but now looking back, I can laugh about it.”