Friday, August 19, 2011

Dust storms in Arizona

Carly M. Price, Morgan Sailor and Angela Piazza in the Arizona Republic: A massive wall of dust struck the Valley on Thursday night, but microbursts throughout the area wreaked the most havoc. The scattered microbursts reached winds of up to 60 mph and knocked over trees and power poles that left 1,500 customers across the Valley without power and another 3,100 around Eloy and Casa Grande during the storm's peak.

The Eloy area was one of the earliest and hardest hit by the storm, with 25 to 30 power poles knocked over. Trees falling on power lines also caused power outages. The damaging winds collapsed walls and tore off the roofs of buildings. Shingles from roofs of houses in the San Tan Valley area were also ripped off. The punishing storms caused sporadic outages throughout the area.

Of the 1,500 Valley customers without power, 1,100 of those were in Peoria. As of this morning, only two customers did not have service restored in this area. Although the Eloy and Casa Grande areas were the hardest hit, APS Spokesman Dan Wool expects the remaining customers to be basking in their air-conditioning and drinking ice-cold water by noon.

Currently, 90 customers Valley-wide are sweating the effects of powerless homes, but only 30 of those are storm-related, SRP Spokesman Jeff Lane said. The remaining homes were undergoing routine, scheduled outages. "Crews worked overnight, and as of 7 (this morning), only 15 were without power," Wool said about the Eloy area....

A dust storm blowing into Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Arizona on 22 August 2003.Shot by Junebug172, Wikimedia Commons

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