PHOENIX -- Arizonans are sweeping up after a massive dust storm blanketed much of the Phoenix area last night around rush hour.
A three-thousand-foot-high wall of dust called a "haboob" swept across the Valley of the Sun, accompanied by thunderstorms. Many drivers were forced to pull over and wait out the storm with visibility reduced to between a half-mile and nothing at all. Around 12-thousand people lost power and Sky Harbor Airport issued a temporary ground stop for all incoming flights for around two hours.
While some thunderstorms on the south side lingered, the dust storm warning for the metro Phoenix area was lifted
Salt River Project first reported more than 10,000 power outages across the Valley around 8:00 p.m.
We have about 10,500 customers without power from tonight's storm. Thx for your patience if your power is out; crews working to restore ASAP— Salt River Project (@SRPconnect) July 26, 2014
Less than 30 minutes later, that number had dropped by a few thousand, and SRP said it hoped to have all power restored in a few hours.
Storm Update: We have about 8,800 customers without power, mostly in the E. Valley. Please be safe and stay away from any downed lines.— Salt River Project (@SRPconnect) July 26, 2014
At 2:00 p.m., the National Weather Service first issued the blowing dust advisory, lasting until 9:00 p.m. for Maricopa and northwest Pinal counties.
Approximately 30 minutes later, storm cells were brewing both southeast of Phoenix near Tucson and north of Phoenix, near Flagstaff.
At 3:52 p.m., storms were in full force along the Interstate 8 corridor.
352pm: storms btwn Gila Bend and Casa Grande affecting I-8, Hwy 85, 238. Strong winds, hvy rain, ponding on roads. Dust beyond that area.— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) July 25, 2014
Canyon del Oro in Tucson also closed due to flooding.
At 4:30 p.m., a dust storm blew just southeast of Casa Grande at Arizona City, Ariz., in Pinal County and headed north.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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