Cleanup underway after monsoon storm brought intense flooding to Miami area

Cleanup efforts are ongoing in Miami, a town along the US-60 that is located to the east of the Valley, a day after rainfall as a result of the latest monsoon storm to hit Arizona brought severe flooding to the town.

Video captures raging floodwater

Video taken by FOX 10 viewers shows floodwaters spilling onto the streets in the Miami area.

In the aftermath of the flooding, a muddy mess can be seen along the streets of Miami.

At one point, officials with the National Weather Service in Phoenix issued a Flash Flood Emergency for the Miami, Midland City and Claypool areas. They say the areas are experiencing a life-threatening situation, and urged people to seek higher ground immediately, and refrain from crossing flooded roadways.

A shelter, according to the Arizona Red Cross, has been set up at Lee Kornegay Intermediate School.

At one point, ADOT officials say US-60 was closed in between Miami and Superior. The highway has since reopened.

Debris pile up in Miami

On July 30, residents were taking part in the cleanup efforts, as floodwaters not only moved the streets, but also moved through homes and damaged cars.

The flood happened after the town dealt with the scale of the Telegraph Fire.

"I was born and raised here. It is sad. I have never seen anything like this. It is scary. It could happen again. First the burning and we had to get out, and now this," said Vera Fernandez, who lives in the area.

City officials say they are working to clean up the debris quickly because if another storm hits, the area will be more backed up.

Residents reflect on damages caused

For residents in the area, they are starting to realize the true scale of the damage left behind.

"I was scared," said Fernandez. "I was really scared because I have five kids here and just myself, and it was scary."

Floodwaters, along with mud, ripped through Fernandez's car port. Luckily, none of that made it inside her home, but it did came close.

"Pretty fast," said Fernandez. "Enough that it could have carried someone away."

"Today is the first day, and it is all sinking in," said Carrie Flag, who was shovelling mud out of her front yard in order to gain access to her front door.

"It is very scary, and all I could think of was my house and there is probably water underneath my house right now, and I was worried about it getting into my house," said Flag.


Road Conditions

  • Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)

Rain/flood safety tips

The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:

  • Turnaround don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
  • If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.
  • If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.
  • Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.
  • If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.

Preparing for a severe thunderstorm 

The American Red Cross' tips for preparing for a severe thunderstorm:

  • Put together an emergency kit.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plan.
  • Create a household disaster plan and practice it.
  • Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety with members of your household. Be aware that a thunderstorm could produce flooding.
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be a place where there are no windows, skylights, or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail and cause damage or injury.

Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoon

"Most Valley residents know how quickly and furiously storms can move in and out, bringing strong winds, dust, rain, and flash flooding. These storms can cause interruptions in services, such as water, power, and gas," stated Captain Ashley Losch of the Glendale Fire Department.

GFD reminds residents of ways they can be prepared and stay safe:

  • Have flashlights with extra batteries on hand.
  • Have food that can be prepared without the need for cooking or refrigeration.
  • Have at least one gallon of clean water for each person in the household.
  • Have backup power for anyone requiring power for a medical device.
  • Have backup power for cell phones that do not require charging.
  • Have a first aid kit ready and accessible.
  • Never drive into areas with flowing water; it takes less than 10 inches to wash a car away.
  • Avoid flooded areas, such as washes.
  • If waters are rising, seek higher ground.
  • Do not approach downed power lines, the ground can be energized for up to 200 feet.
  • Keep pets indoors during storms.

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