Dust storm grounds some flights at Arizona airport

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Associated Press

Posted on July 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Jul 13 at 7:02 AM

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — A dust storm temporarily grounded some flights out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and knocked out electricity to about 2,000 customers in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek areas.

Television footage also showed mangled awnings on some mobile homes in Florence along with some uprooted trees in the city south of Phoenix.

The rolling wall of dust appeared to start early Friday afternoon in southern Pinal County and moved northwest through Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert.

Officials at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport halted some flights until wind gusts of up to 60 mph subsided.

It isn't immediately clear how many flights were affected. One flight reportedly was diverted to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Gateway Airport officials say flight operations were back to normal by 2 p.m. Friday.

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