Flooding near Phoenix prompts water rescues, road closures
Severe thunderstorms in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sept. 23 brought damaging flooding to the area, stranding cars and triggering water rescues.
Flooding downpours and locally severe storms brought some drought relief for the Southwest on Monday, but with the relief came the headache of road closures, stuck cars, multiple water rescues and a possible tornado across Arizona.
At least five water rescues were performed in Apache Junction, Arizona, on Monday, according to Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD). Schools in the area were dismissed early due to the ongoing flooding, according to the school district.
Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) crews rescued a mother and her child from a flooded wash in the area of McKellips and Main Dr. in Apache Junction, Arizona on Monday. (Twitter/sfmd_az_gov)
Apache Junction, Arizona, was one community that was hit hard by flooding downpours with more than a month's worth of rain falling in under an hour.
"There was a report of 3.5 inches of rain in an hour-and-40-minute period just north of Apache Junction," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda said.
Apache Junction is located just east of Phoenix, which averages just 0.64 of an inch of rain in all of September.
Officials of Apache Junction issued more than a dozen road closures.
"The Mesa airport just to the west of Apache Junction recorded 1.43 inches of rainfall on Monday, most of which fell between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. local time, around the same time when water rescues occurred around the Apache Junction area," Sojda said.
A tornado warning was issued for Cave Creek and Camp Creek, Arizona at 12:14 p.m., MST, on Monday. This was the first tornado warning issued in central Arizona since July 2016.
A flash flood watch is in effect for Phoenix until Tuesday morning, and any heavy downpours can result in road closures and cause area washes to run heavily. Water levels can rise rapidly and flow into homes.
The storms may also kick up dust, making travel extremely difficult for a time.
The National Weather Service in Phoenix posted a tweet warning of numerous reports of rescues, cars stuck and road closures.
Arizona public service organizations issued various road closures throughout the day.
The storms are coming as a result of tropical moisture streaming northward from the eastern Pacific Ocean and into the southwestern United States.