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Rain and hail hit Phoenix area, grounding flights at Sky Harbor

(Twitter Photo/@MaurerMartha)

PHOENIX — After a string of severe thunderstorm warnings rang Thursday afternoon, rain and hail soon followed.

The monsoon storm started primarily in north Phoenix, around Lake Pleasant on Interstate 17, towards Surprise and near the Fountain Hills area.

The weather started to blow south and more of the Phoenix metro area got hit soon after.

Rain started to pour close to the Phoenix area around 3:30 p.m. and within the hour had landed as much as .08 inches in some spots. At about 5:30 p.m., over an inch of rain fell in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. About .67 inches of rain had fallen in Tempe around the same time.

At 5:50 p.m., the area just north of the Phoenix Zoo had seen 1.85 inches of rain. The zoo announced Thursday night they are closed Friday to clean up all of the weather damage.

Downtown Phoenix was hit by 1.22 inches of rain in less than 30 minutes, as of 5:40 p.m. There was also a small tornado spotted south of the area just after 5 p.m.

Flights from Sky Harbor International Airport were all grounded at about 5:30 p.m., according to an airport spokesperson.

Before they grounded all flights, planes departing Phoenix to New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle were all experiencing delays.

At about 6:15 p.m., departing and arriving flights had resumed, with delays still in effect. Most delays were finished by about 8:30 p.m.

U.S. 60 EB at McClintock Avenue was cleared in both directions at 7:10 p.m.

Several severe thunderstorm warnings were announced by National Weather Service Phoenix, with many of them in the Cave Creek area.

Others were later announced in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler and Apache Junction. A flash flood warning was put into place at 5 p.m. for the Anthem area that will last until 8 p.m.

The weather even caused a roof to collapse at a shopping center near 44th Street and McDowell Road, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

All-in-all, many places got well over an inch of rain, including Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Pinal County, Glendale, north Phoenix, Fountain Hills, central Phoenix and Aguila Valley.

Power outages were reported by APS and SRP Thursday afternoon, although neither specified it was caused by the weather.

Just west of State Route 51 at Bell Road, APS reported 14 outages that were affecting just short of 13,000 customers, as of 6:20 p.m.

Different spots around the Valley were experiencing power outages from SRP, including just under 1,500 customers in Glendale, near the cross-section of 59th and Olive avenues early in the storm. East Valley SRP outages started to flood the system by 5:45 p.m., with over 8,000 customers getting affected.

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