Winter storm wallops Arizona with rain, wind and snow

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STATEWIDE – Mother Nature walloped Arizona with wind and rain in the Valley and snow in the high country Saturday.

Slick roads and diminished visibility caused a number of fender benders on streets and freeways throughout the Phoenix Metro area. But it wasn’t just rain that was causing problems, however. Heavy winds that swept through the Valley were also an issue.

In Glendale, the wind nearly tore down a power pole at 49th and Peoria avenues. The leaning pole prompted police to close down several nearby streets as a precaution. SRP said as many as 11,000 customers in Glendale and Peoria were without power for a time. About 7,000 in Mesa were also affected. SRP, everybody was back up and running by late Saturday afternoon.

After an extremely active day Saturday, things were expected to start clearing somewhat -- at least in the Phoenix Metro area -- Saturday evening. A chance of showers will stay in the forecast Saturday night into Sunday morning.

While it was raining in the Valley, several inches of snow was piling up in the northern portion of the state. A Winter Storm Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory were expected to remain effect for portions of the high country until tomorrow. The snow level was actually dropping, with the rain turning into snow in Sedona, Prescott, and just north of Payson.

Interstate 17 northbound has been closed at the junction of State Route 179, the Sedona turnoff, due to snowfall in Northern Arizona as part of the flurry of winter weather. Traffic is redirected to southbound I-17. All Flagstaff area snowplows are on the road, working to clear this important corridor.

State Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, and US 180 north of Flagstaff have also been closed.

For more information about the ever-changing road conditions, drivers should call 511 or visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov. In addition, driver safety tips are available from ADOT at www.azdot.gov/KnowSnow.