Monsoon storm damages planes, school, homes across metro Phoenix

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:49 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 1:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The second round of storms proved to be stronger than the first as strong winds and heavy rain hit parts of the Phoenix area on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

At the storm’s peak, over 19,000 residents across the Valley were without power. Power has been restored to most APS customers, but about 2,200 SRP customers still don’t have electricity as of 1 p.m. Wednesday. The areas seeing the most outages for SRP is Mesa and Apache Junction. Some people had damage to their mobile homes near McKellips and Recker roads in Mesa. Goodyear saw wind gusts hit more than 40 mph. Another round of storms early Wednesday hit Globe and south Scottsdale, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the area.

Power poles were reported being down in central Phoenix, near 17th Street and Oak Street, which is north of McDowell Road. The closest wind gauge showed winds hit about 35 miles per hour but a microburst may have downed those lines. Due to the extensive power outage, Camelback High School was forced to switch to virtual learning. Flash flooding hit central Phoenix as well and hail as big as a golf ball was reported in parts of Chandler.

In Mesa, heavy damage was reported at Falcon Field Park, where Arizona’s Family crews spotted downed trees, and damaged ramadas and restaurants. At the nearby airport, at least six planes could be seen overturned by the powerful winds. Mesa police said they’ve been working around the clock securing the area. The damage was so bad for Zaharis Elementary that classes had to be canceled. Officials say the roof needs to be repaired and so students won’t return to campus until Tuesday at the earliest. Teachers will give students at-home learning activities while the school is closed.

The school's roof was damaged so classes won't take place there until Tuesday.
The school's roof was damaged so classes won't take place there until Tuesday.(Mesa Public Schools)

At one Mesa home, an air conditioning unit was blown off the roof and landed on two cars. The unit shattered a car’s windshield and dented another vehicle.

Meanwhile, in Scottsdale, crews have been out since the early morning clearing downed trees and debris. Neighborhoods south of Chaparral Road were hit the hardest with rain and strong winds. City officials say over 100 trees fell in city parks, including 60 alone near Vista del Camino and Eldorado Parks. Over two dozen trees fell along roads and medians in Old Town Scottsdale.

Desert Tails, a nonprofit animal shelter in Scottsdale, is cleaning up a major mess caused by the storms. “I won’t lie. I was a little panicked because it felt like a tornado,” said Chrissy Metzger, shelter partner at Desert Tails. She was working when the powerful storm hit around 8 p.m. Tuesday. “I got our last dog in and it just hit and everything started flying and I went up front and noticed the wind and rain and it just tore everything apart,” she said.

She hunkered down with dozens of dogs there, trying to keep them safe. “We have ground-level windows and the rain started coming in and everything started flooding in the shelter,” said Metzger. Doors were ripped straight off their tracks and covers were ripped off as well. It’ll cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage. To donate, click/tap here.

Outside of the Valley, Pinal County experienced power outages from the storm as well. Damaged power lines and poles shut down power at the Casa Grande Airport, and several roads were closed.


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