Valley awash with road closures, power outages, damage - East Valley Tribune: News

Valley awash with road closures, power outages, damage

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Posted: Monday, July 30, 2007 3:46 pm | Updated: 6:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A rainstorm that battered the East Valley on Monday left a trail of flooded streets, road closures, power outages, water-logged homes and leaky roofs. A roof collapsed at a gym in Chandler.

VIDEO: Storm pounds the East Valley

SLIDE SHOW: View Tribune photographers Julio Jimenez and Ralph Freso's photos of Monday night's storm

View map Maricopa County rainfall totals

List of detailed rainfall totals

MULTIMEDIA: See how Monsoon season works

More weather forecast information

No one was hurt when the roof fell in at Pure Fitness, located at Alma School and Elliot roads. Chandler fire officials said about 100 gym goers were evacuated when the 12-by-12-foot hole opened up over a racquetball court.

Officials worried that if more rain hit, the problem would worsen. About 2 inches of water already covered the court.

Capt. Trig Broderick said there was “a lot of lumber sticking down, a lot of drywall. The ceiling’s on the floor.”

Utility companies also were juggling a series of problems throughout the Valley, from downed poles to blown transformers. As of 7 p.m., about 10,000 APS customers throughout the Valley were without power, said company spokesman Steven Gotfried.

“It’s kind of a very fluid situation. As the storms are moving across the Valley, some people are losing power and then after we get them back up, other people lose power,” Gotfried said.

Some utility poles throughout the region were knocked over by the wind, he said.

Gusts reached about 37 mph at Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa. The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings.

Jeff Lane, a spokesman for SRP, said about 750 customers in Mesa were in the dark near Superstition Springs Mall. Other SRP outages were scattered near Williams Gateway. He expected that the homes would have power restored by 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, further north in Mesa, homeowners complained of flooding.

Dan Le Sueur, 52, said his mother’s home at 1101 N. Stapley Drive just south of Brown Road “looks like an island.” The ranch-style house where his mom Wilma Le Sueur has lived for 55 years takes in water at least once every couple years, he said, and Monday’s rain was no exception.

A group of people helped lay sandbags at the place, and Dan Le Sueur said they were expecting some sort of assistance from city crews at the house, located north of a canal.

Car wrecks also were reported to be a problem as vehicles tried to roll through flooded areas.

Mesa fire officials shut down Country Club Drive under the Broadway Road bridge where about 2 feet of water had collected. East of there on Mesa Drive, traffic was restricted to one lane due to flooding. Many parts of Broadway Road known to flood during heavy rain were shut down in Tempe.

Up north in Scottsdale, staff had their hands full at City Hall and the fire department headquarters.

City workers hustled with buckets to catch leaks from the stained glass windows in the ceiling, said city spokeswoman Pat Dodds.

The Scottsdale Fire Department headquarters also sprung a leak. Spokeswoman Lori Schmidt said the building’s roof is being repaired, and the storm sent water pouring into a storage room.

“It’s a bad time to try to do your roof, during monsoon season,” Schmidt said.

Drivers stopped on westbound U.S. 60 near Mesa Drive and reported seeing pea-sized hail as water crept up, covering tires.

The highest rain total, as of 7:30 p.m., was 2.2 inches of rain, reported at McDowell Mountain Park in Scottsdale, according to the Maricopa County Flood Control District. Mesa was also hard hit, with 1.77 inches of rain reported near Broadway and Dobson roads and 1.57 inches near Brown Road and Horne. More than an inch fell in Tempe.

— Tribune writers Mike Branom, Ari Cohn and Christian Richardson contributed to this report.

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