Storm sparks fires, leaves power outages around Valley

PHOENIX - A quick-moving storm that hit Wednesday afternoon in the Valley left a stream of serious damage in its wake.

Salt River Project officials said approximately 3,000 customers in Tempe, Mesa and south Phoenix were affected by the outage at the height of the storm. All power was restored as of 5 a.m.

Arizona Public Service said that as of 2:45 p.m. power had been restored to all its customers. On Thursday morning up to 1,500 customers were still without power down from a high of 13,000 on Wednesday.


Lightning from the storm reportedly sparked several home and brush fires, while gusting winds blew the roof off a San Tan Valley home.

Flights out of Sky Harbor were also affected, as thunderstorms and strong winds prompted gate holds and taxi delays of up to 30 minutes and increasing as of 6:30 p.m.

Tonto National Fire spokesman David Albo said seven fires in the forest area are believed to have been caused by lightning from the storm. There have been three each in the Cave Creek and Payson districts, as well as one in the Tonto Basin District.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Jorge Enriquez said two separate homes near 56th Street and Camelback Road also caught fire after lightning struck trees near the houses.

Air15 video over the central Phoenix neighborhood showed multiple engines parked outside each of the homes as white smoke poured into the sky.

Another fire near 44th Street and Baseline Road was also sparked by lightning, the resident tells ABC15. Lightning apparently hit a palm tree and satellite dish on the house, starting the small fire.

The strong gusting winds also ripped the roof off of a San Tan Valley mobile home, but no injuries were reported.

The far-reaching storm left thousands without power for several hours Wednesday.


Winds were so strong that YouTube video from "michaeltoddimages" shows white caps on a community lake at Estrella Mountain Ranch in the west Valley.

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