Highway 87 Reopened

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Following a weekend of closures on nearly every highway in northern Arizona, on Monday the bulk of highways were reopened despite ice and snow still present.

Highway 87 between Pheinix and Payson was reopened after being closed since late Thursday night due to a mudslide near the repaired landslide area.

Highway 87 remains closed between Winslow and Pine due to ice and snow and Highway 260 between and Heber is restricted to chains or four wheel drive. Highway 260 between McNary and Eager is reopened while state route 89A between Sedona is closed. State Route 273 approaching Sunrise Ski Resort is open, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Power

Todd Thompson, section leader with APS, said he still has several crews out restoring pockets of power throughout the Rim Country.

Linemen from Payson, Phoenix and Snowflake are working in See Canyon, Ponderosa Springs and Geronimo Estates where several fallen trees have knocked power out.

Thompson said he hopes to have power restored by Monday afternoon.

Water

The Arizona Department of Health Services warns property owners that had their wells topped by storm waters to have their water tested because it may not be safe to drink. Disease causing organisms have entered the Upper Pinal Creek near Six Shooter. These organisms can cause illness, so stay out of any flooded creeks.

For more information about testing, contact Gila County Community Development, Water Department at (928) 474-7175.

Shelters

The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter closed all shelters Sunday including ones in Payson and Tonto Basin. At least a hundred people used the shelter in Tonto Basin while the Payson shelter at Payson High School had one overnight guest Saturday.

Park closures

Last week’s storm prompted the closure of several roads and recreation sites on the Tonto National Forest including North Lake, Horseshoe Dam, Seven Springs and Needle Rock. These sites remain closed in anticipation of Wednesday’s storm, which could drop more rain in these areas. In the Cave Creek Ranger district, Bartlett Dam roads remain closed and in the Mesa Ranger district, Butcher Jones, Coon Bluff, and Granite Reef recreation sites are closed.

Forest officials caution visitors that unusual weather activity is causing flooding along rivers, streams, washes and roads throughout the forest and is impacting both land and water resources.

“Debris deposits on the roads and wash-outs in places have been caused by the extreme weather this week,” said Cave Creek district spokesperson Tammy Pike. “Some roads are simply not passable right now. There is also an increased amount of debris on lakes due to flooding so we urge increased boater caution.”

The Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area on the San Francisco Peaks was reopened Monday. It was previously closed due to avalanche concerns.

All backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing from Snowbowl is allowed.

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