Rim Country Gets First Taste Of Winter Weather

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Two winter storms moved across northern Arizona this week, bringing cold and rainy weather and causing brief road closures near Pine-Strawberry and Tonto Basin.

A storm moved in Monday and brought traces of snow to the Payson area. Several inches of rain fell through the week in Payson and Star Valley, which reported an inch of rain Tuesday. Pine-Strawberry reported six inches of snow Tuesday, which closed the roads briefly until snow and ice could be cleared from Highway 87.

The National Weather Service is forecasting mostly sunny skies Friday with a 10-percent chance of rain into the weekend. The next winter storm should move in Monday night and last into Tuesday bringing snow and rain to Rim Country.

In Tonto Basin, all three crossings were closed Wednesday leaving residents on the east side of Tonto Creek isolated for several days.

Jeannine Cheek, a public information officer with the Tonto Fire District said she could not return home from Phoenix until the crossings were reopened.

Some 400 to 600 residents live on the east side of the creek and are frequently marooned when the creek floods.

For current creek conditions, visit www.tontofire.com, road conditions www.az511.com and weather forecasts www.wrh.noaa.gov.

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