Phoenix Dust Storm

August 19, 2011 by USA Post 

Phoenix Dust StormPhoenix Dust Storm, Valley residents were busy cleaning up after the third large dust storm blew through summer, power lines and downing trees and grounding flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Thousands of people in the far southeast Valley were without power at the height of the storm on Thursday night. But this morning, Salt River Project said their number was reduced to 90 and Arizona Public Service Co. said about 100 people remained without power in Eloy.

A man in Queen Creek area was in the early hours of the damage survey.

“Fallen trees, power lines do not believe it or not, but we heard the power lines (adjusting),” he said. “Trash cans everywhere. People were trying to get home the neighbors calling each other, wondering how everything is.”

As the storm developed, the strong winds of 60 mph and caused an estimated 250,000 in damages to a business of Eloy.

“We heard a loud noise, looked outside and saw the wind coming, dust coming,” said Gary Myers, with 3TV Co. Federal compression.

Myers said his company suffered extensive structural damage in the worst possible moment – which is awaiting a major shipment by the end of the week.

Brian Jerome with the Eloy Fire Department said the city faced a major cleaning.

“There was a building that was destroyed, more than a few reports of some roofs were damaged, garages, which were damaged, downed power lines, downed telephone lines.”

There were no reports of serious injuries.

The storm moved through Eloy, Casa Grande, San Tan Valley and Queen Creek before it hit the center of Phoenix just before 6 pm Thursday. ABC reported 15 power poles were toppled by strong winds along Hunt Highway, where some vehicles were still stranded Friday morning.

The storm delayed some flights in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport about 40 minutes. Airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez said on takeoffs and landings resumed 18:50

The storm was the third major dust storm that hit the Phoenix metropolitan area since last month. A “habub” the July 5 brought a mile-high wall of dust that ended airline flights, knocking out power to 10,000 people and covered everything in its path by a thick layer of dust.

Climate experts say habubs only occur in Arizona, the Sahara and parts of the Middle East due to dry conditions and large amounts of sand.

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