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Main road up South Mountain remains closed after vicious storm

(Phoenix Parks and Recreation Photo)

PHOENIX -- Heavy-duty equipment crews were on the job early Friday morning, trying to clean up storm damage and reopen the main road up South Mountain.

A powerful monsoon storm dropped almost four inches of rain on the mountain and brought down tons of rock and mud. Summit Road at South Mountain Park is closed at the one-mile mark past the ranger station. No bikes or cars are allowed.

Phoenix Park Ranger Sue Arbogast said they hope to be fully reopened this weekend, possibly even Friday, but not until the road is stabilized.

"We have so much of the road that has been eroded away underneath. The large equipment will backfill those areas. We don't any cars on a surface that isn't secure. All of our trails are open," she said.

Arbogast has been at South Mountain for nine years and with the City of Phoenix for 25 years. She said the park has never been closed by this type of damage.

This wasn't a typical storm, said state climatologist Nancy Selover.

Arbogast agreed.

"Normally when we have storms there's runoff but we can take care of it with a small tractor. But with this storm we've been working for three days."

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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