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Weather updates: Confirmed tornado in Willcox, Tucson power outages, road closures

Weather updates: Confirmed tornado in Willcox, Tucson power outages, road closures

Cloud formation near Wilcox

This photo was taken Monday night in an area north of Sunsites by Laurin Richey.

A tornado with peak winds of 90 to 100 mph touched down in Willcox Monday night, leaving damaged homes, power lines and trees in its wake, the National Weather Service said. 

The EF1 tornado was one-third of a mile wide and traveled 1.75 miles in two minutes after forming at 9:25 p.m.

Cochise County Sheriff's Office was advised of the possible tornado near Cox and Hamilton roads around 9:30 p.m. Emergency responders later reported two people were injured in the area.

The sheriff's office search and rescue team responded to at least three seriously damaged homes to help residents possibly trapped inside their homes.

At about 10:50 p.m., all occupants inside the homes were accounted for.

Authorities closed a reception center at Cochise County Service Center around midnight after assisting residents needing a safe place due to the storm and power outages.

The Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross is now operating in the 1300 block of Hamilton Road. The volunteers are assessing the damage and help those affected, the organization said.

On Tuesday, the NWS issued another tornado warning in the Sells area until 9:45 a.m. Tuesday due to a second round of storms. Officials also advised residents to watch for possible quarter-sized hail.

In Pima County, authorities have closed:

  • Wentworth Road north of Andrada Road in Vail
  • White House Canyon Road near the railroad tracks, east of Green Valley
  • Dawson Road at Country Club Road in Sahuarita
  • Mission Road from Valencia to Drexel roads
  • Harrison Road at the Pantano Wash

According to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, no roads going north from Sahuarita are open, including Houghton, Wilmot, Wentworth and Calle Rinconado roads. 

For more information on Pima County road closures, call 547-7510.

At 10 a.m., the NWS continued to track a large area of rain and thunderstorms moving across Southeastern Arizona.

By 11:35 a.m., the weather service said the "main area" of thunderstorms was beginning to shift east of the Tucson metro area. Santa Cruz, Cochise and eastern parts of Pima counties were expected to see heavy rainfall.

Just after 1:30 p.m., Tucson Fire crews rescued a teen in a wash just east of Harrison Road. Crews were able to walk to the teen, who only had a few scrapes. 

Shortly before 2 p.m., the NWS said 24-hour rainfall totals included about .4 to .75 inches across the Tucson metro area, 2 to 3 inches in the Vail and Corona de Tucson area and 1 to 2 inches in the Catalina, Rincon and Santa Rita mountains.

The NWS also issued a flash flood warning until 2 p.m., for Vail, Corona de Tucson and Patagonia. A similar warning was issued for Sierra Vista until 3 p.m.

A flash flood warning is issued when a "flash flood is imminent or occurring," the service said.

Power outages have also been reported in areas that include Tucson's north and east sides, according to Tucson Electric Power's outage map.

As of Noon Tuesday, Tucson has received 2.21 inches of rain this month, which is the 26th wettest on record. However, the 2019 monsoon season has been the 45th driest on record.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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