Power back on for everyone after huge storm last week

Posted: Updated:
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Still cleaning up damage after major storm
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UPDATE: Monday morning

PHOENIX -- More than 100 people are still without power after a huge monsoon storm pounded the Valley last Thursday.

At the height of that storm, some 95,000 Valley residents were without power.

Crews from both APS and SRP were hard at work through the weekend to get things back up and running.

As of Monday morning, about 150 APS customers still had no electricity. They could be without power all day.

Power reportedly has been restored to all SRP customers.

UPDATE: Friday morning

PHOENIX -- Some APS customers were still without power Sunday evening after an extremely violent storm ripped through the Valley Thursday night.

According to APS, the storm knocked out power to 15,000 customers valleywide. The company reported about 150 customers were still without power Sunday night.

According to SRP, all of their customers are back online.

Helpful phone numbers

APS: 602-371-7171

SRP: 602-236-8888

Dozens of power poles had been ripped down. Crews were working off a priority list to get things back up and running, but neither utility was able to offer an estimated time.

APS customers can call 602-371-7171 for more information. SRP customers can call 602-236-8888.

Those power outages were affecting traffic lights at intersections all over the metro area, which was making the morning commute hairy.

Road closures

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The intersection of 40th Street and Shea Boulevard was closed due to downed power poles, at least one of which was shattered. According to Phoenix police, 40th Street is also closed between Cactus Road and Shea Boulevard. Sgt. Tommy Thompson, that closure could last through the weekend.

School closures

Several schools were closed due to storm damage Friday.

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St. Mary's High School at Third and Virgina streets near downtown Phoenix sustained major damage, included downed trees and power lines, as well as water damage. While power probably won't be resored by APS until Saturday, school officials said they hoped to have the repairs and cleanup done in time for classes on Tuesday.

Longview Elementary at 12th Street and Indian School Road -- part of the Osborn School District -- was also closed, as was Speciality Franklin Police and Fire High School at 16th Avenue and McDowell Road (Phoenix School District).

Storm facts from 3TV Chief Meteoroloist

1. We had .94" of rain Thursday night.....a record rain for August 28th. Previous record went back to 1951 (.84")

2. Monsoon 2008 total rain is now at 5.66", 10th on the all-time list. So it's the 10th wettest monsoon since 1895 when they started taking records in Phoenix

3. It is the wettest monsoon in 24 years: in 1984 we had 9 1/2" of rain

4. The total rain so far this monsoon (5.66") is more than the previous three monsoon seasons, 2004-07 (5.60")

5. In August, we've received 3.51" of rain, ranking this as the 4th wettest August on record

6. Our annual rainfall to date is at 8.08", making this the wettest year since 1998, and we still have more than 4 months to go.

7. As of 1am, the biggest rain gauge totals I saw around town: 1.85" at both 40th Street and East Washington (Gateway Community College) and the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale.

8. Pretty much totally unexpected ... even as the initial storms developed the Weather Service, and frankly yours truly, were in denial. The atmosphere, or what we thought we knew about the atmosphere at the time, didn't seem ready for such an outbreak. It seem the storms would only be a southern Arizona deal last night. And yet it happened. Very cool.

Last night, the temp at the airport dropped to 64 degrees in the rain, tying the all-time record low for the date of 64 set in 1920. I'm pretty sure the last time a record low was tied or set in Phoenix was in 1990! Yeah, the urban heat effect.

Brophy and Xavier prepatory high schools in central Phoenix were confirmed closed, as well.

Madison Meadows Elementary is closed, but Madison Rose Lane will be open.

Ahwatukee Foothills Prep, which has about 350 students at it 10210 S. 50th Place campus, was also closed due to a power outage.

Metro Tech High, Bostrom High and Camelback High reportedly are having power issues, but it's not confirmed if those schools will be closed.

In addition, the storm destroyed Arizona State University's new $8.4 million football practice facility, known as The Bubble. Fabric from the dome was blown as far as Tempe Town Lake and lights were shattered. Officials were assessing damage Friday morning.

Airport delays

Strong winds blew a large amount of debris onto runways and taxiways at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Deputy Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher said runways and taxiways were closed on and off throughout the night, but all were open as of about 9 a.m. with regular takeoffs and landings.

Delays and diversions occurred all night and aAbout 500 passengers spent the night in the airport. Ostreicher said those passengers have taken their flights.

She said several aircraft that were slotted for flights Friday sustained damage and were not able to depart. The airlines were working to accommodate these passengers to get them to their destinations.

Hurricane-strength winds

Winds in some areas were clocked at 85 mph, which is the strength of a Category 1 hurricane. A wind gust of up to 100 mph was recorded by National Weather Service radar.

Those winds uprooted and splintered trees all over the Valley, including at the 3TV studios in north-central Phoenix.

The high winds also tore an aluminum roof off a building ar Seventh Street and Thomas Road.

One witness who lives nearby said she heard several loud crashes just before spotting the power poles on the ground and the mangled metal in the street.

Many areas saw penny- and quarter-size hail.

Humane Society flooded

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Humans aren't the only ones affected but the storms. The Arizona Humane Society's facility near 15th Avenue and Dobbins flooded.

Employees have been working since Thursday night to clean up, but the task has proved to be a daunting one as flooding caused the sewage system to back up.

Damage is estimated to be in the thousands. The AHS is hoping the public will come through with donations to help cover those costs.

Thousands of lightning strikes

According to 3TV's weather equipment, more than 5,000 ground lighting strikes were recorded in a two-hour period.

That lightning is being blamed for a hay fire burning in the far West Valley.

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It's burning in Avondale on Dysart Road south of Interstate 10.

Because fires like this can be deep-seeded, firefighters usually let them burn themselves out. There were no reports of injuries or flames threatening any structures.

While the damage is widespread and extensive, no injuries have been reported.

azfamily.com

ORIGINAL STORY

PHOENIX -- An unknown number of customers in the Phoenix area lost power Thursday night after a powerful storm came through the Valley.

The storm came up from the south unexpectedly around 8:30pm and started with non-stop dry lightning that lit up the night sky.

After the lightning came the incredible wind and rain.

Rainfall was measured in Phoenix at 5 inches an hour - a rainfall rate equivalent to hurricanes.

Winds reached 58mph at the 3TV station, and hit 77mph at the Chandler airport - officially hurricane strength gusts.

More than 5000 ground-lightning strikes were recorded by 10:00pm, which doesn't include the cloud-to-cloud lightning.

The power outage was so wide spread and damage reports were coming in so fast that emergency crews were unable to give details on exactly how many people are without power or get details on emergency situations sprouting up due to the storm.

One known situation in Scottsdale was a downed tree that ruptured a natural gas line near the 5500 block of 71st place.

Emergency crews had to evacuate the area due to the damage.