Wind gusts here among top in state

Rain recorded at MCAS sets new record af­ter sec­ond storm hits area

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY AMY CRAW­FORD SUN STAFF WRITER

Yuma had record rain­fall from Mon­day’s se­vere thun­der­storms, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Phoenix, but it was the wind gusts that nearly topped out the state.

As of mid-af­ter­noon Tues­day, the high­est wind gust from the ha­boob and se­vere thun­der­storms was recorded at 71 mph about 10 miles south, south­east from Martinez Lake (along the river in Im­pe­rial County, Calif.), ac­cord­ing to NWS data.

The NWS web­site cau­tioned that the num­ber may be eclipsed as more data was col­lected from re­mote mon­i­tor­ing sta­tions, which it was later Tues­day af­ter­noon, af­ter a de­layed re­mote re­port from a sta­tion in Florence record­ing winds of 80 mph about 11:15 p.m. Mon­day night.

“A se­vere thun­der­storm will have gusts of 58 mph or greater. So that was def­i­nitely a se­vere level wind,” NWS spokesman James Sawtelle said of the wind gust at Martinez Lake.

When asked if that was a record for wind in ad­di­tion to the rain, Sawtelle noted that it was not.

“Records aren’t kept on wind gusts,” he said, as they would be bro­ken all the time.

The rain recorded at Ma­rine Corps Air Sta­tion Yuma (which is the NWS of­fi­cial record­ing sta­tion, Sawtelle said) was 0.14 inches, a record for the day. The last record was 0.05”, set in 1963.

Other ar­eas in Yuma County saw a lot of rain, the NWS noted, in­clud­ing ar­eas north of Date­land (0.76 inches), Tacna (0.48”), and the area south to south­west of the For­tuna Foothills got 0.24 about 10 Mon­day evening.

Statewide, elec­tric­ity out­ages af­fected about 50,000 to 60,000 peo­ple, Ari­zona Pub­lic Ser­vice spokes­woman An­nie DeGraw said, with about 4,000 res­i­dents

in Yuma County with­out power.

DeGraw said that Tues­day evening’s storm knocked down 200 power poles across the south­ern half of the state.

“Just to give you some con­text, we lost 250 poles last sum­mer over the three­and-a-half months (of mon­soon sea­son),” she said.

Some of the poles lost Tues­day were re­in­forced steel ones that were snapped in half, DeGraw said. “The winds were that strong.”

Both the Yuma Po­lice De­part­ment and the Yuma County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­ceived few re­ports of dam­age. Both said there were no in­juries re­lated to the storm it­self.

“There was just a lot of wind and sand, and usu­ally those things will rat­tle garage doors and other doors and make the alarms go off,” said YPD Sgt. Lori Franklin. “That’s usu­ally our big­gest (chal­lenge) is go­ing out to all the alarm calls.”

Out in Cit­rus City, an un­in­cor­po­rated neigh­bor­hood near Tacna, res­i­dent Ruben Conde said that he was un­aware of any se­ri­ous dam­age or losses in his area, though he noted “the storm and the ha­boob that pre­ceded it (were) cer­tainly dra­matic.”

Well­ton-area res­i­dent Kurt Har­ri­son said that he lost his shed to Mon­day night’s storm, and Tues­day’s winds rat­tled his front win­dows off their tracks, al­low­ing dust to blow into the house. Conde and Har­ri­son both re­ported that power was out for a few hours.

DeGraw said a small num­ber of res­i­dents from County 13th to County 14th streets and Av­enues G to F re­mained with­out power into early Tues­day af­ter­noon, but ser­vice was re­stored by sun­down.

RANDY SMITH, EX­EC­U­TIVE DI­REC­TOR OF SAD­DLES OF JOY, 2749 W. County 14th St., uses a small chain­saw Tues­day morn­ing to start re­mov­ing a 60-foot tree that was blown over dur­ing Mon­day night’s storm. Smith said he is hop­ing to get some help re­mov­ing the tree, “be­cause this is not what we are equipped to do.”

Buy th­ese pho­tos at Yu­maSun.com PHO­TOS BY RANDY HOEFT/YUMA SUN

LEO FLORES GETS BUSY EARLY TUES­DAY MORN­ING cut­ting up branches that were blown off one of the mesquite trees in the front yard of home in the 2000 block of 6th Av­enue dur­ing Mon­day night’s storm. The storm was the sec­ond in as many days to blow through the Yuma area.

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