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PHOENIX - A blinding dust storm swept through central Arizona and prompted the grounding of flights at Phoenix's main airport.

Sky Harbor International Airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez says the suspension of all inbound and outbound flights took effect between 8 p.m. and 8:30 PDT Thursday.

She says that all operations had resumed by 8:45 p.m. During the suspension, 24 inbound flights were diverted to other airports.

Meteorologist Charlotte Dewey of the National Weather Service tells the Arizona Republic that the storm swept into the Phoenix area about 7:30 p.m. and was expected to linger for three to four hours.

A dust storm warning for the Phoenix area is in effect until 9 p.m.

Dewey reminds drivers that roads can be especially hazardous during dust storms.

The Weather Service is predicting a 30 to 35 percent chance of rain for Friday.

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