More showers, thunderstorms expected in Phoenix area

PHOENIX - More showers and thunderstorms -- and possibly more flooding -- were expected in metropolitan Phoenix on Thursday, two days after many areas were inundated by monsoon rains.

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The low-pressure system that was expected to hit central Arizona was already causing havoc in the western part of the state. More than 1,600 households lost power in Yuma late Thursday afternoon, according to Arizona Public Service.

APS spokesman Alan Bunnell said electricity had been restored to about 800 of the affected homes by early evening, and the rest were expected to have power back a few hours later. He said the outages were likely due to heavy winds and lightning.

According to the National Weather Service, winds of at least 50 mph have been hitting Yuma throughout the day. There was also 1-inch hail reported at the Yuma Proving Ground.

There was more than a 50 percent chance of rain Thursday evening in parts of eastern and central Arizona, including the Phoenix area, as a potent low-pressure system moved through the region, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike McLane said. The system was likely to produce periods of heavy rain and gusty winds.

Forecasters also said there was a threat of flooding in the region's washes and low-lying areas, as well as in Yavapai and Coconino counties to the north. David Vonderheide, a meteorologist in Flagstaff, said moderate to heavy showers were coming down in the Flagstaff and Sedona areas Thursday afternoon. Some areas such as Oak Creek Canyon already had nearly an inch of rain. A flash flood warning for western Coconino County was issued from 1 to 4 p.m.

Storm runoff Tuesday closed parts of several highways north of Phoenix and flooded several homes. Authorities had to rescue many stranded motorists, and some areas were evacuated.

Some residents were still searching for pets, including horses and dogs that were swept away by flooding in New River, a town about 30 miles north of Phoenix. It's common to see horses grazing outside people's homes in the rural community. Residents have been searching on horseback to help neighbors locate their animals.

Joyce Moore, an Arizona Department of Corrections officer, has had several people reach out to her after her two barns were washed away with three horses still inside. A helicopter spotted one of the animals Wednesday, but Moore said the black gelding, Tuck, was in too much distress to survive.

"He had taken in water and he was having a hard time breathing. You could tell he was not good," Moore said.

She said she doesn't think the other two horses, a gelding and a mare, made it.

"They're just out there on their own. There's no way they're going to survive if they took in as much water as he did," Moore said.


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