Metro Phoenix cleaning up after high winds uproot trees, knock out power

Oct 4, 2022, 9:21 AM | Updated: 9:22 am

PHOENIX – The Valley was cleaning up Tuesday after a dust storm raged across metro Phoenix the previous day with winds that reached over 60 mph.

Winds tore down power lines, damaged other electrical equipment and leveled trees. Gusts topped out at 62 mph at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport.

“A lot of places saw wind gusts in excess of 50 mph,” Isaac Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Tempe and Mesa hit 58 mph, Queen Creek 54. Other areas had winds in the upper to mid-40 mph range, according to the weather service.

At the height of the storm, which kicked up around 4 p.m. and lasted about two hours, more than 40,000 in the Valley were without power, according to estimates from the two largest public utilities.

About 200 Salt River Project customers were still without power around 9 a.m. Tuesday, down from more than 32,000 on Monday.

APS reported about 1,400, mostly in the West Valley community Youngtown, were without power at 9 a.m. Tuesday, down from about 8,000 Monday.

The winds kicked loose from a tornado that spun near Flagstaff in a 100 mph frenzy.

Once those winds reached the Valley during the afternoon rush hour, “we continued to see strong winds persist through the evening,” Smith said.

“It kept going.”

The forecast for Tuesday was calmer.

“We could see some gusty winds try to push into lower deserts … but we’re not expecting anything like what we saw yesterday,” he said.

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

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Metro Phoenix cleaning up after high winds uproot trees, knock out power