The city of Phoenix is still in recovery mode after a massive storm decimated the surrounding area last Tuesday, leaving tens of thousands without power for more than a day.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a severe monsoon swept through central Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale just after sundown on Sept. 1. Winds of up to 65 MPH were recorded while flooding reached a whopping one-and-a-half inches, making travel almost impossible.
The Arizona Public Service Co., which provides power to a majority of those affected, said in a statement that it first focused on clearing downed lines and restoring service to essential facilities such as schools and hospitals.
Despite the power company’s efforts, several schools were closed the day after the storm. Even a local foodbank, St. Mary’s Food Alliance, had to borrow refrigeration trucks to preserve what was left of their spoiling food reserves.
“We’re going to lose stuff because it’s too hot, but we’re going to save as much as we can,” spokesman Jerry Brown said. “This is a race against time.”
Power outages cost the U.S. $80 billion dollars every year, and this recent storm is a good example of how badly they can affect an entire community.
According to local news affiliate KVOA in Tucson, even pizza shops are struggling with the financial consequences of the storm. MaryBeth Scanlon, owner of the Pizza People Pub, said they’ve already had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of perishable goods.
“We’re going to have an insurance claim — food lost, business lost,” she said. “I haven’t done the math yet. We are in the thousands of dollars for sure.”
These types of monsoons are a common occurrence in Arizona during the late summer, but Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was particularly taken aback by the ferociousness of this storm.
“Last night Mother Nature did a number on our city,” he said on Wednesday.
That is quite the understatement.