Rain and snow hits Ariz., more expected

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Arizona Snowbowl By Mike Gertzman Arizona Snowbowl By Mike Gertzman
Arizona Snowbowl By Mike Gertzman Arizona Snowbowl By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Rain and snow fell all day and into the night around Arizona on Friday. The wet, chilly weather is expected to continue through the weekend.

The forecast calls for heavy rain Friday night with a chance of storms statewide until Sunday.

The rain and snow brought a change of scenery but no major weather-related incidents.

The Loop 303 between Peoria Avenue and Camelback Road was closed early Friday morning after storm water runoff flooded a work zone, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The road was reopened at about 2 p.m. Friday.

The rain was so heavy in the West Valley that classes were canceled at Tonopah High School.

Motorists said the travel conditions on Interstate 10 coming in from California were treacherous.

"High wind advisories coming through there today," said one driver.

"It rained the whole way. Fog to ground level, road spray and you can’t see anything. Big trucks, you can’t even see their lights. Wicked," said a couple traveling together.

In the East Valley some parks were filled with rain water, some washes were running over the roads and there was some street and parking lot flooding.

Shawna Hudson’s minivan stalled after she drove through some deep water in a shopping center parking lot at Meridian Road and Broadway Road in Apache Junction.

“I watched other little vehicles right after me go through,” said a frustrated Hudson.

While the rain brought misery to some, others were glad to have it.

“I like it. It’s a good break. We need this. It’s been a long hard summer. It’s great," Johnny Murray said.

There were reports of trees and cactuses down all across the Valley. A huge tree fell on Osborn Road near 28th Street forcing the closure of Osborn Road while the tree was cut apart and removed.

The snow in the high country was no match for The Arizona Department of Transportation’s fleet of snowplows. Crews were able to keep the highways and interstates clear.

Meantime, the countdown is on for opening day at the Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff. Skiers and snowboarders are getting ready to hit the slopes. Snowbowl is hoping to open on Friday, Nov. 29.

Weather conditions did force the rescheduling of high school football playoff games.

Due to field conditions and concern of players’ safety from the rain and flooding, the semifinals have been moved from Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, to Monday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m.

The weather also forced officials in the Town of Gilbert to cancel the Gilbert Days Parade and Red, White, and Blues Festival on Saturday.