Arizona: Tornado Damages Homes, Power Lost in Dust Storms

WILLIAMS, Ariz. (AP) — Up to 10 homes were damaged after a tornado touched down in northern Arizona Monday while around Phoenix, dust storms caused downed power lines, fires and cut power to thousands, authorities said.

The National Weather Service said a strong line of thunderstorms hit northwestern Coconino County around 1:30 p.m.

County officials said 8 to 10 homes were damaged in the Junipine Estates community located 8 miles (12 kilometers) north of Williams, which is 33 miles (53 kilometers) west of Flagstaff. Numerous other structures and trees were damaged in the EF-1 twister because of winds up to 100 mph (161 kilometers), according to the weather agency.

Search and rescue units from the county sheriff’s office were conducting “life and property” assessments in the affected community with some downed power lines reported and some homes sustaining roof damage.

Dust storms, rain and wind moved through the Phoenix area Monday afternoon, downing power lines that sparked fires and cut power to thousands.

The Phoenix Fire Department at about 5:30 p.m. reported on Twitter that firefighters were responding to more than a half-dozen fires in homes, businesses and in a salvage yard. One adult was treated for smoke inhalation in one of those fires, and some people were displaced from their apartments, officials said.

More than 82,000 customers around Phoenix were without power because of the storms, ABC15 reported. As of about 6:10 p.m., power remained out for about 46,000 customers.

Storm activity was continuing to move south and east Monday evening with much calmer weather expected by 8 p.m., the National Weather Service said. reported that a dusting of snow in the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff was part of the “wild weather” in Northern Arizona. The newspaper said tornadoes are relatively rare in Arizona and relatively weak when they do form.