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Dust storm with 35 mph winds sweeps into Phoenix

PHOENIX — Officials say a late afternoon dust storm that moved into the
Phoenix region reduced visibility and caused a series of crashes that closed at
least one highway.

Weather officials say some parts of the region area had visibility cut to less
than one-eighth of a mile.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says there were a handful of minor
car accidents, and a short stretch of Highway 347 just south of Phoenix near
Riggs Road was briefly closed.

James Sawtelle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says winds
from thunderstorms Saturday in southern Pinal County kicked up dust as it
moved northwest across the state.

He says cities on the edges of metropolitan Phoenix saw some of the worst
visibility around 5 p.m., with winds moving about 35 miles an hour.

Sawtelle says the storm lingered over the Valley for a few hours.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.