Storms uproot trees, dump heavy rain in East Valley - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

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Storms uproot trees, dump heavy rain in East Valley

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Dust storm moves up from the south. (Source: CBS 5 News) Dust storm moves up from the south. (Source: CBS 5 News)
More wind damage from the thunderstorms. (Source: Rebecca Thomas, cbs5az.com) More wind damage from the thunderstorms. (Source: Rebecca Thomas, cbs5az.com)
Hail in San Tan Valley (Source: Emilie Garrison) Hail in San Tan Valley (Source: Emilie Garrison)
Tree uprooted at Chandler and 32nd St. in Ahwatukee. (Source: Rebecca Thomas, cbs5az.com) Tree uprooted at Chandler and 32nd St. in Ahwatukee. (Source: Rebecca Thomas, cbs5az.com)
Trees down in the area of 48th Street and Ray Road. (Source: Rebecca Thomas, cbs5az.com) Trees down in the area of 48th Street and Ray Road. (Source: Rebecca Thomas, cbs5az.com)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Southeast Valley residents, Tuesday morning, continued to assess the damage left from a round of rough weather that left a destructive mark late Monday afternoon.

A microburst accompanied heavy rain, and high winds that left considerable structural damage, flooding and downed trees and power lines, especially in Ahwatukee and Chandler.

Winds reached as high as 60 mph in the East Valley, and hit the Ahwatukee area especially hard, according to CBS 5 Meteorologist Katie Baker.

The high winds blew a tree on top of a car near 32nd Street and Pecos Road, downed a scoreboard at the Desert Vista High School football field, and toppled houses under construction near 24th Street and Pecos Road.

Baker said winds knocked over a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate 10, and were also clocked at 60 mph and limited visibility to less than a half-mile.

No damage estimates in the area were immediately available.

A microburst can cause damage similar to that of tornadoes, Baker said, but they are more localized. She said sinking air and winds coming out of a thunderstorm cause a microburst, and that just a few feet away from the destruction it can remain calm.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio said he and city management will tour Ahwatukee at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

"I have lived here for 26 years, and have never seen a storm do more damage than the one we endured last night," DiCiccio said. "It is going to require a huge, collective effort to clean up our community."

The powerful storms swept dust, rain and hail into East Valley neighborhoods beginning around 5 p.m. Monday.

Areas in Mesa received nearly an inch of rain. However, Phoenix officially is still 95 days and counting without any measurable rainfall at the official measuring station, at Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, Baker said.

Salt River Project said about 50 East Valley customers were still without power at 5 a.m. Tuesday. SRP reported 4,500 customers were without power about 7 p.m. Monday.

Arizona Public Service reported that only five customers in the Buckeye area were without power Tuesday morning.

The entire town of Bagdad had power restored about 1:50 a.m. Tuesday after lightning struck a transformer. About 975 customers were affected, according to APS.

Ahwatukee, Tempe, Sun Lakes and Chandler had been under a severe thunderstorm warning for about 45 minutes. That warning expired at 5:45 p.m. 

During the height of the activity, Valley Pinpoint weather maps indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 mph near Ahwatukee.  

"We've had reports of penny and dime-sized hail with the storms," CBS 5 Chief Meteorologist Chris Dunn said Monday evening.

One viewer posted a Facebook photo to the CBS 5 News page showing hail in San Tan Valley.

Dunn said there was quite a bit of lightning early on associated with the storms.

CBS 5 News multimedia journalist Rebecca Thomas reported trees down near 48th Street and Ray Road. Some trees fell on a car parked in a driveway.

"I've never seen so much widespread damage in the Ahwatukee area," Thomas said.

Several homes under construction near 32nd Street and Pecos were heavily damaged.

"The really heavy storms are over," Dunn said at 6:30 p.m.

Here are some rain amounts in selected areas:

  • 0.91 inches - East Mesa
  • 0.87 inches - Loop 101 & Elliot
  • 0.72 inches - Ahwatukee 

The unsettled weather is expected to continue during the early evening hours, Dunn said. 

"Some storms will continue into the overnight hours and again Tuesday afternoon," Dunn said.

"An interesting weather feature, a cut-off low pressure system, will come into play Tuesday through Thursday, enhancing our chance of storms," Dunn said. "It's interesting because this thing is making its way across the country from East Coast to the West Coast. I've really only seen that one other time."

Dunn said with the increase in cloud cover, temperatures will take a break, possibly not even making it to 100 degrees several days in a row.

The high in Phoenix on Monday was 110 degrees.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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