Monsoon aftermath: Storms across Phoenix area cause road closures and power outages
Severe thunderstorms swept across the Valley on Sunday night, leaving residents to deal with fallen power lines, road closures and power outages on Monday.
State Route 87 closed in both directions near Mesa around 9 p.m. Sunday, due to fallen power lines and flooding, and was expected to be closed for at least 24 hours, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The northbound lanes were closed at Loop 202 and the southbound lanes at Shea Boulevard.
REMINDER: SR 87 remains closed in both directions between McDowell and Shea. This is due to downed power lines. There is no estimated reopening time. #PHXtraffic pic.twitter.com/ETS7CHkw4I
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) July 18, 2022
About 3,859 Arizona City customers and about 5,258 Eloy customers had power outages because of storm-related conditions, according to the Arizona Public Service outage map. The restoration times for these areas ranged from 6 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
There is a cooling shelter for affected customers in these areas located at 595 North C Street in Eloy, according to the map.
In metro Phoenix, there were more than 600 APS customers without service. About 94 of the customers were affected due to downed power lines and about 515 customers were affected due to storm damage. Restoration times for the power ranged from 11:45 a.m. Monday up to 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to the outage map.
Recent storms caused damage, leaving poles & large transmission structures down. Crews are working 24/7, but this takes time to do safely. Some customers are in an extended outage, & we encourage you to have a backup plan & know available resources. Info: https://t.co/f9cXLMAMri. pic.twitter.com/OGvD9CP1HG
— APS (@apsFYI) July 18, 2022
More than 5,000 Salt River Project customers across the Valley were still affected by power outages as of Monday morning, and at least 4,000 of those were due to storm activity.
According to a tweet from Salt River Project, they were reimbursing customers who had an extended outage for the cost of ice.
Last night’s monsoon storm downed a total of 106 distribution poles and 15 69 kV lines. If you are experiencing an extended outage, we are reimbursing customers for the cost of ice and encourage you to locate your nearest cooling center. https://t.co/YxtIGEtVMt
— Salt River Project (@SRPconnect) July 18, 2022
Mesa fire crews respond to more than 180 calls
Fire crews in Mesa responded to 184 calls during the storm from about 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, which was more than the usual amount of calls, according to Marrisa Ramírez-Ramos, a spokesperson for the Mesa Fire and Medical Department. On Saturday, they received about 50 calls in that time frame and on July 10, they received about 48.
The incidents firefighters responded to included business and house fires, down power line, tree and transformer fires and structure damages due to fallen trees, said Ramírez-Ramos. The Mesa Fire Department received assistance from Tempe, Chandler, Guadalupe, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Superstition to respond to the high number of calls.
NWS Phoenix: 80 mph wind gusts estimated in Sunday storms
A flash flood warning was issued in the East Valley and localized flooding was reported across the region, but according to Marvin Percha, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, the winds caused most of the impacts in the Phoenix area.
Wind speeds around 65 mph were recorded which resulted in uprooted trees and downed power lines. Percha said that based on radars and the impact the storm left near SR 87 and Gilbert Road, which included a damaged mobile home, wind gusts of up to 80 mph were estimated.
"I wouldn't say (these damages) are frequent. They're kind of unusual, but they happen a few times during a typical monsoon; you get this localized damage," Percha said.
By Monday evening, NWS Phoenix said that Sunday’s wind gusts were estimated to be 80-100 miles per hour in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, where severe damage was caused.
"Going in person and looking at photos in the office we were able to make the determination that the winds were 80-100 miles per hour," stated meteorologist Jared Heil.
After a night of storms in the Valley, chances of thunderstorms on Monday are small as dry air has moved into the region, according to Percha. He said it is probable storms will be confined to areas along the Mogollon Rim, White Mountains and southeast Arizona.
Throughout Friday thunderstorms are expected to be "quiet" in the Valley, but an uptick in activity is in the forecast for the weekend and early next week, Percha said.
Reach breaking news reporter Angela Cordoba Perez at Angela.CordobaPerez@Gannett.com or on Twitter @AngelaCordobaP.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix weather: Monsoon storms cause road closures, power outages