SR 87 partially reopens north of Mesa after downed power lines caused closure
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A major East Valley road is now partially reopened after heavy rains and strong winds left behind a path of destruction in several neighborhoods, including in the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community. SR 87 reopened Tuesday morning between Gilbert Road and Shea Boulevard.
Arizona’s Family first reported on the closure after debris was seen scattered along the highway. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a blown semi-truck near the highway and Gilbert Road with a mobile home completely destroyed not far behind. National Weather Service’s Phoenix officer later confirmed that a microburst, with winds in excess of 80 miles per hour, hit the area, meaning it was likely the cause of such devastation. ADOT says SR 87 remains closed between McDowell and Gilbert roads.
Powerful storms leave devastating damage
As neighborhoods begin to pick up the pieces and clean up, thousands of people in nearby Mesa had power knocked out for more than 24 hours. Arizona’s Family spoke with one man who said that his electricity has never been off this long. “I’ve lived here since 1978 in this area, and it’s never been off this long,” said Lee Noblitt. “No power. The only light you have is through the blinds. I have a battery-operated fan here I’ve been using to make it somewhat bearable.”
At one point, Salt River Project (SRP) reported that nearly 39,000 customers were without power. It’s apparent from the extensive damage along SR 87 and McDowell Road, which remains closed as more than 100 poles were knocked down. The utility provider says crews have been working around the clock to restore power and clear the affected equipment.
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