ARIZONA NEWS

Morning storms trigger dust storm warnings in Phoenix

Aug 11, 2015, 9:35 AM | Updated: 12:43 pm

(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)

(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)

PHOENIX — Mid-morning storms triggered dust storm warnings Tuesday in Phoenix and surrounding areas.

Traffic cameras showed the fast-moving dust approaching the East Valley about 9:30 a.m. with rain following behind.

The storm cut power to numerous parts of the Valley. Salt River Project reported about 5,000 people were without power east of State Route 51 between Phoenix and Apache Junction about 10 a.m. Arizona Public Service reported an additional 10,300 were without power in the same area.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport said both incoming and outbound flights were delayed about 30 to 45 minutes at one point. Some flights were diverted to other airports in the region — Tucson, Las Vegas and Ontario, California.

While operations got back to normal about 12:30 p.m., fliers were encouraged to contact their airline before heading to the airport.

Within an hour, standing water was seen on Valley freeways.

The warnings expired in both Maricopa and Pinal counties until 11 a.m.

Wind gusts as high as 52 mph were reported at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport while gusts as high as 40 mph were reported in the town of Maricopa, south of the Phoenix metro area.

The forecast called for a good chance of thunderstorms and showers until 11 a.m. As much as a quarter of an inch of rain could fall. The chances of rain dwindle to 40 percent Tuesday night before hitting a low of 20 percent Wednesday morning.

While morning storms have been commonplace in 2015, dust storms typically do not blow into the metro area until the afternoon or evening.

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Morning storms trigger dust storm warnings in Phoenix