PHOTOS: Severe weather destroys homes, knocks out power


by Mike Gertzman

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 7:23 AM

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PHOENIX -- A spring storm brought wind, dust, hail and rain to the Valley and other parts of Arizona on Wednesday evening.

Nearly 2,000 utility customers living in central Phoenix and Gilbert were still without power on Thursday morning.

At the peak, APS said 13,000 customers had no electricity. Crews have been working through the night to repair the damage.

The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for central Maricopa and north-central Pinal counties.

National Weather Service meteorologists detected a line of severe thunderstorms capable of producing nickel-size hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph.

These storms were located along a line extending from Guadalupe to Chandler Heights or along a line extending from Ahwatukee to 9 miles southeast of Gilbert moving southwest at 20 mph.

The storm destroyed at least one mobile home and caused severe damage to several other mobile homes in San Tan Valley near Ironwood and Germann Roads.

Another home near that mobile home park sustained some severe damage. Most of that home's roof was blown off as the severe weather moved through the valley.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is working an active fire in the area of 720 Ranch Road in Queen Creek. Spokesman Elias Johnson said downed power lines sparked a grass fire due to severe wind bursts.

There are more downed lines near Ironwood and McCormick as well as furniture in the road that blew out of a vehicle along southbound Ocotillo at the motocross track.

PCSO also received a report of a motorist's windows being blown out due to the winds in the same area.

No injuries were reported, but drivers should avoid the area and drive with care.

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