Winds of 65 mph cause serious storm damage last Friday

By Curtis Riggs | September 3, 2008

storm318CAVE CREEK/CAREFREE – Gale-force winds during Friday evening’s storm caused significant damage in both Desert Foothills communities.

Cave Creek Town Marshal Adam Stein said four trees and between eight to 10 signs were knocked down in Cave Creek Road medians by the winds, which were blowing between 60 and 65 mph.

“The signs that were knocked down were interesting because they were in cement bases,” he said. “They literally twisted themselves out and keeled over.”

He said the signs may well have fallen over because the ground is so saturated from recent rains.

Cave Creek road crews began cleaning up the damage at about 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29 and worked until 5 a.m. Saturday. The workers cleared out Galloway Wash early Saturday morning.

storm329A large tamarisk tree blew over at Rancho Mañana and blocked a road.

Cave Creek Mayor Vincent Francia considers himself lucky because a 200-pound branch from a Palo Verde tree did not hit his house after it snapped off. The tree was located between two porches at his home.

“The storm picked it up and carried it 30 yards from the house,” he said.
“The Palo Verdes really took a beating all over town,” he added.

A greenhouse Francia recently built on his property was also destroyed.
“The greenhouse is now a ground house,” he said.

Carefree Mayor Wayne Fulcher said several homes in Carefree sustained damage to their roofs because of the strong winds. There was also some damage to the Town Center Gardens.

He is asking Carefree citizens for patience as crews work to clear debris from roadways and rights-of-ways. He is asking residents to report any downed trees blocking roadways to Carefree Town Hall at 480-488-3686.

Some of the western town building fronts in the Buffalo Chip Wagon Camp were also blown over.

In an incident unrelated to the storm, power was out at several businesses in the east end of Cave Creek’s business district until early Saturday afternoon because an impaired driver sheared off a utility pole in front of the Horny Toad at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. The driver was charged with a D.U.I.

Top photo: APS crews were working to restore power in the east end of the town business core after an impaired driver sheared off a power pole earlier that morning.

Lower photo: A large portion of this tamarisk tree at Rancho Mañana was knocked down in Friday night’s storm.

Photos by Curtis Riggs