Monsoon weather brought blowing dust, rain and flooding to Phoenix area
PHOENIX - Cleanup efforts are underway in various parts of the Phoenix area, after a round of monsoon weather brought blowing dust, rain and flooding to the Valley.
Throughout the evening hours on July 14, NWS officials issued a number of warnings for the Valley, including a Dust Storm Warning. Locations impacted by that warning included a number of Phoenix area cities, such as Chandler, Tempe, Sun Lakes, and Queen Creek.
ADOT officials said blowing dust dropped visibility to less than a mile in many parts of the Phoenix area at one point.
Damages apparent in parts of East Valley
Flooding was reported in the area of US 60 and Val Vista, causing the freeway to shut down for several hours. The freeway has since reopened, in both directions.
In Gilbert, authorities say they have received multiple reports of downed trees and debris blocking roads throughout the town. Parks have been flooded, and trees were seen pulled out by the roots. Some landed on cars, houses and barns in the area, while trash and debris were scattered across neighborhoods.
In one incident, a tree landed on a parked SUV that belonged to Josh Eagar's son.
"He’s moving to Tennessee," said Eagar. "I was planning on driving out there, so we got a few weeks to buy a new car."
One neighborhood in the area now resembles something like a monsoon war zone, with many trees toppled. In another area, parts of a tree smashed into a barn and fence, unleashing frightened horses, goats and sheep into the neighborhood at night.
"He got out and he just took off and didn’t wanna stop," said Brittenie Robles. "I was running into traffic and trying to catch a sheep!"
Throughout the day, tree trimmers were assessing damage in various neighborhoods, and writing contracts as fast as they can before they bring out the equipment needed.
"You definitely want to have someone who has the right equipment. That’s why were using cranes, especially, to get these things off the structure so we’re not causing more damage," said Jason Klug with Top Leaf Tree Service.
SRP officials said over 7,000 customers were left without power in the Mesa and Gilbert area Wednesday night, but electricity was restored to most of those homes by early Thursday morning.
Officials with APS said an estimated 1,164 APS customers lost power in an area near Northern Avenue and State Route 51, as a result of "unknown interference to a major power line." Elsewhere, another estimated 123 customers were without power in Tempe and Scottsdale.
Power has been restored to a majority of those homes as well.
Latest weather forecast
- Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)
Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoon
"Most Valley residents know how quickly and furiously storms can move in and out, bringing strong winds, dust, rain, and flash flooding. These storms can cause interruptions in services, such as water, power, and gas," stated Captain Ashley Losch of the Glendale Fire Department.
GFD reminds residents of ways they can be prepared and stay safe:
- Have flashlights with extra batteries on hand.
- Have food that can be prepared without the need for cooking or refrigeration.
- Have at least one gallon of clean water for each person in the household.
- Have backup power for anyone requiring power for a medical device.
- Have backup power for cell phones that do not require charging.
- Have a first aid kit ready and accessible.
- Never drive into areas with flowing water; it takes less than 10 inches to wash a car away.
- Avoid flooded areas, such as washes.
- If waters are rising, seek higher ground.
- Do not approach downed power lines, the ground can be energized for up to 200 feet.
- Keep pets indoors during storms.