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Weather slows travel across Arizona

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Posted: Friday, January 22, 2010 12:00 am

The massive storm that swept into Arizona early Thursday disrupted travel plans and caused motorists to be extra cautious, but generated little damage as of 3 p.m.

“It’s been relatively quiet,” said Phoenix police officer Rick Tamburo.

At Pecos Park the soccer fields were almost completely underwater by 2 p.m. As a precaution Thursday afternoon classes and an evening adult basketball league were cancelled.

“We know the roads get flooded and it’s just a precaution,” said Sue Laskovsky, the park director.

The community center at Pecos Park isn’t a primary Red Cross evacuation center, but Laskovsky said staff would be on call in case they need to open as the city braced for the biggest storm in years.

At Thistle Landing and 48th Street a giant water retention area had been turned into a small lake.

“I’ve seen water in it, but not this deep,” said Jami Smyth, as she tried to walk her dog in the rain. “It’s kind of cool.”

But not so cool was the cancellation of many flights into and out of Sky Harbor International Airport Thursday afternoon because of wind and visibility issues.

In northern Arizona people were bracing for as much as four feet of snow by Friday morning.

The Department of Public Safety reported Thursday morning that northbound Interstate 17 was closed at Camp Verde and the I-17 in both directions was closed at the Flagstaff Airport.

Others closures in the high country included State Route 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff, U.S. 180 at milepost 236 on the way to the Grand Canyon and State Route 87 from Winslow south to Pine-Strawberry.

Travelers are encouraged to visit for current road conditions or to contact the airline directly for flight information.

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