A wall of dust blankets the Chandler and Gilbert neighborhoods of Phoenix

(ORDO NEWS) — Friday was the day of the first alert as a massive wall of dust passed through the Southeast Valley.

The dust storm formed in Casa Grande and moved to the Chandler and Gilbert area around 6 p.m. The wall of dust, which some call the habub, was about 50 miles wide and up to 6,000 feet high.

Aerial photography from the helicopter of the Arizona news service “Family” showed how the dust engulfs various areas.

It was one of the most impressive walls of dust this monsoon season. Peak wind gusts reached 65 mph and there were many reports of zero visibility during the storm.

However, the storm and strong winds left many without electricity. Nearly 5,000 SRP customers were left without power in the Southeast Valley at the height of the storm.

At the same time, approximately 2,000 APS customers were left without power in the Phoenix metro area.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the East Valley, including Chandler, Gilbert and Apache Junction.

It expired at 6:30 pm and there were no showers. However, several hundredths of an inch of rain fell in some areas of the San Tan Valley.

Earlier Friday afternoon, a helicopter from the Arizona’s Family news agency saw clouds of dust near the Fountain Hills and ominous clouds in the distance.

It seemed that thunderstorms could bring rain, but they subsided before reaching the Valley. Then a powerful habub struck from the southeast.

A dust storm warning was in effect in some areas of Pinal County, but it has also expired.

Until 11 pm in the Valley there is a warning of a severe thunderstorm with rain, gusts of wind and lightning.

There is a 30 to 40% chance of rain and wet weather can occur during evening trips. Click here for a live view of the radar.

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