The monsoon lit up Thursday evening, uprooting and snapping trees across North Phoenix while leaving nearby neighborhoods unscathed. The storm spread across the Valley, even producing a tiny tornado in downtown Phoenix.
“Our neighborhood is torn up,” said Karena Titmarsh Black of Carefree Crossing, a small community just southeast of Tramonto. A handful of trees were toppled in nearby Amber Hills. Other trees were felled or snapped at the trunk in several neighborhoods around 27th Drive and down along the North Valley Parkway into Sonoran Foothills.
Karen Hallam Regan was driving home on Carefree Highway during the storm and “had to pull over it was so bad,” she said on the Anthem News Facebook page.
“We are receiving a lot of calls regarding downed trees,” officials at Sonoran Foothills posted on Facebook. “We have three arbor crews and 15 people clearing trees.”
And … wait … a tornado? “Based on radar & photo evidence, we’ve classified a brief landspout tornado south of downtown Phoenix,” the National Weather Service tweeted at about 7:50 p.m. It was the first tornado in the city in about two years.
As usual during the monsoon, rain totals were sporadic.
- Parts of Tramonto got nearly a half-inch of rain.
- Nearly 3/4-inch fell at Deer Valley Airport.
- A gauge just north of Anthem recorded a tenth of an inch, as did one in Desert Hills just east of Anthem.
SOURCE: Maricopa County Flood Control District
The storm flooded roads in many parts of central Phoenix and elsewhere in the Valley, including Mesa, Chandler and Scottsdale. Flights were delayed at Sky Harbor Airport. The Phoenix Zoo announced it will be closed Friday due to “multiple trees down, flooding & debris covering several trails,” but that all animals were safe.
At about 9:30 p.m., APS said it had about 4,600 customers without power, “down from 15,000 at the height of the storm.”