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Updated Aug 21, 2014 - 10:18 pm

More rain, thunderstorms hit Phoenix area

PHOENIX — More showers and thunderstorms hit the metropolitan Phoenix again on Thursday, two days after many areas
were inundated by monsoon rains.

There was more than a 50 percent chance of rain Thursday evening in parts of
eastern and central Arizona, including the Phoenix area, as a potent
low-pressure system moved through the region, National Weather Service
meteorologist Mike McLane said. The system produced periods of
heavy rain and gusty winds.

Around 8 p.m. the system moved into the Valley, affecting the Avondale area first before moving east to Tempe, where blinding rain, coupled with night skies, made traveling difficult. There were also strong winds reported in the area, with winds between 40 and 50 miles an hour in Avondale.

As of 9:35 p.m., rain moved across Phoenix; however, winds had decreased to about 25 or 30 miles per hour.

Forecasters also said there was a threat of flooding in the region’s washes and
low-lying areas, as well as in Yavapai and Coconino counties to the north. David
Vonderheide, a meteorologist in Flagstaff, said moderate to heavy showers were
coming down in the Flagstaff and Sedona areas Thursday afternoon. Some areas
such as Oak Creek Canyon already had nearly an inch of rain. A flash flood
warning for western Coconino County was issued from 1 to 4 p.m.

The low-pressure system that hit central Arizona
caused havoc in the western part of the state. More than 1,600 households lost
power in Yuma late Thursday afternoon, according to Arizona Public Service.

APS spokesman Alan Bunnell said electricity had been restored to about 800 of
the affected homes by early evening, and the rest were expected to have power
back a few hours later. He said the outages were likely due to heavy winds and
lightning.

According to the National Weather Service, winds of at least 50 mph have been
hitting Yuma throughout the day. There was also 1-inch hail reported at the Yuma
Proving Ground.

Storm runoff Tuesday closed parts of several highways north of Phoenix and
flooded several homes. Authorities had to rescue many stranded motorists, and
some areas were evacuated.

Some residents were still searching for pets, including horses and dogs that
were swept away by flooding in New River, a town about 30 miles north of
Phoenix. It’s common to see horses grazing outside people’s homes in the rural
community. Residents have been searching on horseback to help neighbors locate
their animals.

Joyce Moore, an Arizona Department of Corrections officer, has had several
people reach out to her after her two barns were washed away with three horses
still inside. A helicopter spotted one of the animals Wednesday, but Moore said
the black gelding, Tuck, was in too much distress to survive.

“He had taken in water and he was having a hard time breathing. You could tell
he was not good,” Moore said.

She said she doesn’t think the other two horses, a gelding and a mare, made it.

“They’re just out there on their own. There’s no way they’re going to survive
if they took in as much water as he did,” Moore said.

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