PHOENIX – A monsoon storm that swept into the Phoenix area late Tuesday night left a trail of damage in the region's southeastern suburbs, where winds flipped planes and downed trees and power poles.
More thunderstorms were expected across the state Wednesday, as summertime storms are fed by a continuing flow of monsoon moisture into the desert southwest.
Fire officials said 41 planes were damaged, some severely, after a microburst hit Chandler Municipal Airport. Planes were flipped upside down, shoved into piles or into fences or had their wings snapped.
Fire officials were assessing the damage Wednesday and determining how to right the planes and prevent fuel from leaking, Battalion Chief Keith Welch of the Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department said.
"We have overturned planes, we have planes that just got moved, we've got planes that were pushed to different locations, maybe depending on their size," Welch said. "We've got a huge amount of damage."
No one was hurt, and the airport's control tower was closed for the night when the storm moved through, although the airport remained open. Trees around the airport were downed, and a hanger door was ripped off.
In other areas of Chandler, ABC-15 TV reported that power poles were broken off by high winds and more than a dozen trees in a large pecan grove were downed.
Tuesday's night's thunderstorm was the second of the day to hit metro Phoenix. Earlier storms left thousands of residents without power and dropped heavy rain.