Thu, April 02

Mother Nature brings needed rain, <br>unneeded damage to Verde Valley

Mother Nature finally delivered some sorely needed rain to the Verde Valley Tuesday, as well as a lightning show more illuminating than a fireworks display at Disneyland.

She also brought destruction and damage to phone poles, trees, roofs and homes in Cottonwood and Camp Verde.

According to Verde Rural Fire Department Capt. Mike Rigsby, a patio roof from a home in the 1900 block of south Del Mar Drive in Cottonwood was ripped from its foundation by strong winds, thrown 50 feet over a one-story house and deposited in the owner’s front yard.

The patio roof tore a 16- by 30-foot hole in the house’s roof, allowing water to pour into the home’s dining room, kitchen and master bedroom, Rigsby said. The storm also reportedly destroyed the swamp cooler located on top of the house.

Fire crews spent almost two hours mopping and dry vacuuming the inside of a 1400-foot home, Rigsby said. At least 10 neighbors lent a hand to help their needy neighbor.

Rigsby said the owner of the home remained in his house that evening, while his wife and daughters spent the night at a neighbor’s home.

Damage to the house was estimated between $5,000 and $10,000, Rigsby said.

A house in the 1100 block of East Bow Maker Trail was struck by lightning during the storm.

According to Rigsby, the home owner heard a loud crack and felt a vibration before his electricity went out.

Authorities detected a light odor of smoke in the home but reported no damage or injuries, Rigsby said.

Authorities closed Camino Real near 89A and Fir Street, Cyprus and Sixth Street because of flooding, Cottonwood police Lt. Keith Porter said.

Camp Verde may have been hit the worst by the storm.

Downed power poles were reported on Salt Mine Road, Mesa Lane and Rustler’s Trail, Camp Verde Fire Chief Phil Harbeson said.

According to Wendy Escoffier, spokeswoman for the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, homes and businesses in Middle Verde, Verde Lakes, Quarter Horse Lane and the downtown area were without power until Wednesday afternoon. The same was true for Lake Montezuma and Rimrock, Fire Chief Dave Marshall said.

Arizona Public Services Cottonwood Area Supervisor Wayne Ferguson said Tuesday’s outage affected approximately 2,100 APS customers throughout the Valley. Most of the seven downed power poles and lines were located in the Rimrock-Lake Montezuma area and parts of Beaver Creek. Most of the customers in those areas had power restored by 4 p.m. and all customers had electricity by 9 p.m. Wednesday.

APS linemen and troubleshooters were called in from Prescott to help local APS crews and tree trimmers, Ferguson said.

"I haven’t seen a storm like these in at least three years," Ferguson said. "For us, it was pretty severe."

Harbeson also reported that a fallen tree caused serious damage to the roof of a home on Buffalo Trail.

According to several Verde Valley fire agencies, lightning caused several small brush fires near Copper Canyon. All were quickly extinguished by the rain.

Clarkdale and Jerome reported no weather related calls in their areas. Ron Ballatore of Jerome Public Works said the worst problem they had were several felled tree branches and a plugged up storm drain.

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