Photos: Monsoon storm slams Phoenix metro

Photos: Monsoon storm slams Phoenix metro

Credit: Dominick A. Barone D.O. FACOP FAAP

Photos: Monsoon storm slams Phoenix metro

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on August 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 11:49 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- A dust storm that moved through central Arizona temporarily shut down air traffic at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Thursday night; hundreds of people were still without electricity Friday morning.

View Photos:  Monsoon Storm brings dust, rain, wind across Arizona

Officials say planes were not allowed to land or take off until the weather improved. the closure lasted about 20 minutes. Air traffic has since returned to normal; no delays were being reported Friday morning, some 12 hours after the fast-moving storm rolled through.

The massive wall of dust blew through the Phoenix area about 6 p.m. Thursday, dramatically reducing visibility and enveloping residents in an eerie rust-colored glow. In some parts of the Valley, visibility was cut down to less than 1/4 of a mile.

It's the fourth major dust storm that has hit the Phoenix metropolitan area since July 5. That's double the amount that we typically see.

Unlike some of the previous storms, this one did bring some rain to the Valley. Sun City got about 0.86 inch of rain. Cave Creek saw 0.75 inch. Those numbers dropped significantly closer to Phoenix. Scottsdale, for example, saw a total of 0.28 inch of rain.

Some residents said this storm felt like the strongest one so far this monsoon.

"It was more like a tornado," said Janet Lynn Schultz whose home was damaged. "All of the patio was upside down and things were just flying."

Salt River Project officials say an estimated 3,500 customers are without electricity late Thursday afternoon. Most of the power outages are in the Queen Creek area southeast of Phoenix.

SRP said most of those people are back up and running.

Some 1,600 APS customers in Eloy are not as lucky. They were still without power Friday morning after the storms damaged between 25 and 30 power poles there

Officials in Pinal County say high winds downed power lines south of the town of Arizona City and west of Interstate 10.

After Thursday's record-setting 112 degrees, Friday looks to be a partly sunny day in the Valley with a high of just 105 degrees and a slight chance of more rain in the evening hours.

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