Melting snow from winter storm prompts flooding near Tonto Basin

TONTO BASIN, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Melting snow from last week's massive winter storm that swept through Arizona has caused flooding in the Tonto Basin area.

As a result of the flooding, some roads are covered and impassable.

In video taken by SkyFOX, water can be seen flowing quickly at the Tonto Basin, located east of Phoenix and not too far from Roosevelt Lake. The water was flowing at a steady pace, running up to and over roads in the area and cutting off cars trying to get from one side to the other.

The good news is, this is the only place in Arizona dealing with anything approaching flood conditions.

"In terms of actual rivers coming out of their banks and flooding homes, we are not expecting that, luckily, this year," said Michael Schaffner with the National Weather Service.

Although it rained a lot last week, it was a steady drenching rain, spread out enough over time so much of it could soak into the ground. The melting snow shouldn't be a problem either.

"To be honest, to get flooding from snowmelt in Arizona is rare does not happen often at all," said Schaffner.

Where the water does collect, it can be dangerous. In the Tonto Basin, it's a bad idea to try to drive through it.

"As little as one foot of water can sweep away a small vehicle, and two feet can sweep away high vehicle, so it doesn't take much to lift vehicle and float it downstream," said Schaffner.

The National Weather Service has some good advice for drivers when the water is high: turn around, don't drown. Meanwhile, the NWS has issued a flood warning for Gila County until Sunday, March 3.

River Observations by the National Weather Service in Phoenix