Monsoon Storms Suspended Air Travel at Phoenix Airport
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Takeoffs and landings at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport were suspended for more than an hour Monday night when monsoon storms passed through the Arizona capital, the Associated Press reported.
In addition to impacting air travel in the region, the storms brought strong wind gusts to the area, plus heavy rainfall — more than an inch an hour in some cases. Power outages and flash flooding added to the misery.
The storms also damaged the roof of Terminal 3 at Phoenix Airport and forced the PHX Sky Train service, which transports travelers between the Valley Metro Rail and airport terminals, to temporarily suspend operations.
Acting deputy aviation director Julie Rodriguez told Phoenix-based sister stations KPHO and KTVK that a ground stop was issued at the airport around 7:30 p.m. local time Monday and wasn't lifted until shortly after 9 p.m.
A wind gust as strong as 61 mph was recorded at the airport just before 8 p.m. local time Monday, per KPHO-KTVK.
Flight operations returned to normal around midnight, but air travelers were still being encouraged to check the status of their flights.
Rodriguez said that buses were used to serve a section of the PHX Sky Train route for a brief period of time Monday night after Sky Train service was halted due to water in the guideway.
Regular train operation on the route resumed around midnight.
Elsewhere in the Phoenix Metro area, dozens of motorists were left stranded by flooding and thousands lost power.
"(T)he PFD alarm room has received record numbers of calls," Department of Public Safety spokesman Capt. Larry Subervi told KPHO-KTVK. "Some of the major incidents that were controlled by these crews included a house fire that was started by lightning and rescuing numerous citizens stranded in their cars in flooded roadways.
"Additionally there have been numerous motor vehicle collisions and responses for live power lines that were down," Subervi added.
Public works and utility crews are working to repair damage and restore power.
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