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Monsoon Storm Causes Outages, Damage In Phoenix Valley

By Lauren Gilger, Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 3:13pm
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 6:23pm
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Kerry Fehr-Snyder/KJZZ
A tree downed by a monsoon storm on July 30, 2018.

Monday night, another powerful monsoon storm hit the Phoenix Valley.

If you were out on the road, you probably know exactly how localized the heavy rain was and may have had to pull over or take another route.

“We had Interstate 17 closed down for a bit on your sunset point because of water on the roadway," said ADOT's Caroline Carpenter. "And then very low visibility on State Route 347 in Maricopa closed that roadway for a period of time as well."

Drivers were hit by rain and dust Monday night and, in Phoenix, downed trees, twisted signs and other debris forced some street closures.

The storm’s high winds also caused some major power outages around the city.

“This was a very significant storm. Lots of wind, widespread damage and, of course, thousands of outages,” said SRP spokesman Scott Harrelson. 

A power outage, started at 6:30 p.m., affected as many as 41,000 SRP customers at the height of the storm. As many as 80,000 APS customers were also affected. The Show called SRP for an update and, as of Tuesday morning, out of a million customers throughout the Valley 2,800 are still without power.

One of those ongoing power outages includes St. Mary’s Food Bank. Volunteers and employees spent last night relocating perishable goods to refrigerated trailers in the parking lot. Thankfully, according to St. Mary’s spokesperson Jerry Brown, the food will be fine.

But the Knight Distribution Center is closed Tuesday due to downed power lines and parts of Thomas Road being blocked off. Brown said the Center gives out food to 500 to 800 families a day.

"We just want to let folks know to not use their precious resources to come down here only to find out, when they get off the bus or they get out of an Uber or cab, that they can’t get any food today," he said.

Last night’s storm even knocked out the lights at Chase Field, delaying the Diamondbacks game against the Texas Rangers. 

However, the power outage was not caused by a "baboon" that went through Phoenix overloading the power grid. That baboon was caused by the autocorrect feature on the phone of ESPN sports reporter Pedro Gomez.

Apparently, haboob is not among the word choices available on Twitter.

You can share your monsoon stories — love it, hate it, new to this unique Arizona season — and tell us your story at 480-774-8299.  We may use it on the air.

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