High winds from monsoon storm causes power outages, other damage

Photo By Carlos Acuna: Flood waters sweep across a bridge on Safford/Bryce Road near Landfill Road during Tuesday’s monsoon storm.

Video of the storm in Solomon By Ruth Guttierez

By Jon Johnson


GRAHAM COUNTY – We asked for rain, but it was the high winds we could have done without.

A monsoon storm blew into the area early Tuesday night with wind gusts that knocked over trees, damaged utility poles and caused debris to be strewn about.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A cart wrangler at Bashas’ was blown over by the storm.

The rain came down hard and fast with the wind, as the ferocious storm tore through Graham County. It hit Solomon first and then headed west through Fort Thomas, knocking out the power in both communities as well as elsewhere throughout the county. Graham County Electric Cooperative employees worked diligently to get the power restored as quickly as possible. 

Photo By Missy Fenton: Hail was collected in Bryce north of Pima. 

While the official rainfall total at the University of Arizona Meteorological Network station two miles east of Safford listed slightly more than half an inch of rain at .56, rain gauges throughout the community registered upwards of two inches in some parts According to the station, however, the official total for the year to date is just 3.39 inches.

Additionally, the speed at which the rain came down caused washes to fill and overrun, such as the case near Landfill Road, where the bridge had water running across the road.

Downed utility poles were reported in Solomon off Bowie Avenue, and in Bryce, where hail was also reported. An uprooted tree reportedly fell on a vehicle in Thatcher, a recycling cage was pushed into a customer at Jo Bi’s Convenience Store south of Safford by the wind and there was some slight flooding along 1200 South in Pima.

In Safford, a neighbor’s Cypress tree was uprooted and fell on a residence and vehicle. No injuries were reported, but the very tall tree damaged the home and vehicle.

Photo By Anna Glidewell: This Cypress tree was upended in the storm and damaged a residence and vehicle.

At the Safford Walmart, employees were kept busy trying to keep the floors and merchandise dry as numerous leaks appeared throughout the store. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: This scene was viewed throughout Walmart as numerous spots began to leak.

While first responders and volunteer firefighters were kept busy with a variety of calls, no major damage to homes or businesses was reported.