Severe damage is left behind throughout Arizona as monsoons rip through

As the 2021 monsoon season is extremely active in Arizona, a major change from last year's "nonsoon," homes, neighborhoods, churches, roads and businesses are sometimes left barely standing.

Monday night's monsoon was so different, causing destruction all over the state, including San Tan Valley, Arcadia and North Phoenix.

The National Weather Service says more than 33,000 lightning strikes were recorded Monday night, as well as near 70 mph winds at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport.

San Tan Valley man's truck struck by monsoon lightning

Richard Lange in San Tan Valley who has seen dozens of monsoons in his lifetime says Monday's monsoon will be one he never forgets.

His truck was struck by lightning.

"I was going to drive this thing until the damn wheels fell off, to be honest with ya," he said, adding, "Not going to be driving it anytime soon, or ever.

The lightning bolt struck just after midnight at his San Tan Valley home. His girlfriend who was awake, heard it happen and ran to get him after she noticed the truck was in flames.

"Grabbed the garden hose, ran out of the side yard, fell a couple of times. There was like three feet of water down by the back gate …," he said.

Fire crews arrived and by that time, all that was left was a charred shell of the truck that's been in the family for 20 years after his dad bought it brand new. 

It's the truck Lange learned to drive with.

"It’s kind of heart-wrenching to see it go out in a blaze of glory that you really weren’t expecting," he said.

Man loses 105-year-old tree in monsoon

Jim McDonald watched a massive timber come out of the ground, saying the tree was 105 years old, and in 40 seconds it was gone.

"Hate to see that one go. Like losing a brother," he said. A crane was brought in to move everything out of the road.

"Well, I’m a tree hugger. And I hate to see that go, it’s gonna be missed. I love that tree along with the others here," McDonald said.

Down the way, a BMW got hit by a snapped palm tree. Further south of Indian School Road, another tree took down a small home and power lines, making power intermittent in the area all day Tuesday.

Security cameras capture North Phoenix church get destroyed by a thunderstorm

A Valley church closed its doors after severe monsoon storms destroyed the roof and flooded the building Aug. 13.

Jagged debris still covers the ground. As the heavens opened up in the Phoenix metro area, water piled high on the roof of the Moon Valley Bible Church.

New surveillance video of water rushing into the church was captured. The motion-activated camera starts recording just as a final wall collapses inside the church storage room.

The roof of the room split open under the weight of the monsoon storm and soon, water filled the space inside while lightning causes the camera to go in and out.

The problem only got worse because the collapse ruptured the water and sprinkler line.

Pastor Bob Kerrey with the Moon Valley Bible Church says, "It was like a fire hydrant fully opened into the facility."

You can see water pouring out, and eventually, another surveillance camera caught a wall give way and furniture float away.

"It was also sobering to see all the walls and furniture moving so forcefully and water coming in so quickly," Kerrey said.

Nearly half a foot of water covers the rooms in minutes.

A third camera captures a peaceful night until the water line is snapped and the chaos begins.

Kerrey is happy no one was injured when the collapse happened, saying, "If it happened on Sunday morning, there’d be a bunch of people in here."

The stage will have to be rebuilt while the building dries out and a new ceiling is constructed. While they wait, other churches are helping support the new walls of the congregation.

"Very touching to see our neighbors and other churches reaching out with love and compassion and saying, ‘Hey how can we help?’" Kerrey said.

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