Storm tears through metro Phoenix; high winds bring down trees

Aug 17, 2021, 6:39 AM | Updated: 11:30 am
(Sceenshot/ADOT Webcam)...
(Sceenshot/ADOT Webcam)
(Sceenshot/ADOT Webcam)

PHOENIX – High winds and the heavy rain that came with it left behind a big mess in the Phoenix area Tuesday.

Thousands of homes were without power after a monsoon storm ripped through the Valley late Monday. Trees came down and streets flooded as some areas absorbed over an inch of rain.

More of that could be on the way. Flash flood warnings were issued Tuesday for much of the West Valley – Avondale, Buckeye, Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria and Avondale – the last of which was to end at 11:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service said there was a 60% chance of thunderstorms overnight and 40% on Wednesday and reported wind gusts of 73 mph in San Tan Valley and 69 mph at Sky Harbor Airport. Some areas could see two inches of rain while others an inch.

Arizona Public Service had nearly 16,000 Valley outages while Salt River Project had around 10,000, at one point.

Around 11:20 a.m., APS showed all but about 200 had power again and about half of SRP’s Valley customers without electricity were still waiting.

One-day totals rainfall totals at Usery Mountain Park in Mesa was over an inch and Chandler Heights recorded 1.14 inches. On the other side of the Valley, Goodyear got 0.94 inches and a gauge at Grand and Peoria avenues showed 0.87 inches.

“We’re looking at probably a quiet afternoon and then potential for additional thunderstorms probably during the overnight hours,” Phoenix weather bureau meteorologist Paul Iniquez told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Greenway Road in Phoenix was closed in both directions at Interstate 17 because of flooding. Other streets were closed as crews took care of downed power lines and fallen trees.

“This was the worst wind I’ve ever seen and I’ve been here 35 years,” Mike Evans, who lives near 44th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix, told KTAR News.

Evans heard a loud crack late Monday night. Wind had uprooted his 60-foot pine tree.

“The pine tree fell into the wires … and the wires and two poles went down,” he said.

The damaged wires sparked in the yard’s palm tree. He thought fire was next and woke his wife to get her out of the house.

Then the rain fell.

“It felt like a hurricane. And I’ve been in hurricanes before,” Evans said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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Storm tears through metro Phoenix; high winds bring down trees