Workers began clearing away more than 50 fallen trees, some taller than 30 feet, from Mesa City Cemetery on Saturday after a storm ripped through the area on Friday.
The damage resulted in closure of the cemetery, at 1212 N. Center St., on Saturday except to people who were attending three scheduled services, Mesa park ranger N. Baker said. The cemetery will remain closed today and perhaps Monday, he said.
Baker said most of the damage was in the center of cemetery.
"The trees and branches were all over the roads," said Mesa resident Carl Anderson, who saw the damage Friday evening. "Headstones were uprooted and trees were snapped off. The old cedars that have been there forever were uprooted or snapped off."
Friday’s storm hit the East Valley just before 5 p.m. and brought winds up to 60 mph, uprooting trees and knocking down power lines.
Also Saturday, residents of about 200 to 300 homes, mostly in Apache Junction, were without power after about 25 power poles were knocked down during the storm, said Salt River Project spokesman Scott Harelson. While waiting for the power to be restored, SRP distributed ice at a grocery store.
About 2,500 homes in the East Valley lost power Friday, Harelson said. Power was restored to most within an hour, he said.