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Monsoon storms wipe out COVID-19 test site in Mesa

Crews clean up coronavirus test site after strong winds wreck tents at Mesa Community College location.

MESA, Ariz. — A COVID-19 testing site is back up and running in the East Valley after a powerful monsoon storm made a big mess there Monday night. Tents were destroyed after wild winds whipped through.

Early Tuesday morning, bent metal, COVID-19 test supplies, tarps and other items filled the Mesa Community College parking lot where the tents stood just hours before.

Steffan Embry, the operations manager with Embry Women's Health, said they were cleaning up so they could get back to testing Arizonans for the coronavirus. 

“Most of the tents were completely destroyed and as you can see, a lot of the equipment inside was damaged as well," Embry said.

A video posted on Facebook showed what it looked like moments after the storm rolled through, knocking down tents. 

Embry says they’ve made changes to make sure Arizonans still get tested.

“Yeah absolutely," Embry said. "We’ve had to move some appointments as well.”

Embry said they test about 2,000 to 4,000 people a day between all of their Valley locations. Three of their seven test sites were damaged in storms overnight. Their Surprise, Tolleson and Rio Salado locations were operating as usual, and were not affected by the storms, Embry said. 

He added they have a few extra tents ready to go, and they’re evaluating plans moving forward.