PHOENIX - Arizona continues to feel the impact of monsoon weather as a number of storms bring rain and flooding to various parts of the state.
Flash flood warnings, dust storm advisories, and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued all last week.
The following advisories are active:
- Flood Warning in Coconino County until 6 a.m. on Aug. 1.
The monsoon pounded the Valley tonight, bringing rain, flooding and a dust storm. Plus there were reports of damage and power outages – and the storms were widespread. From Tucson to Flagstaff, and all across the Valley, it was what old timers would call a "gully washer."
The sound of heavy rain poured on downtown Phoenix this evening and many storm drains couldn't keep up.
Interstate 17 was flooded near Grant Road. You could see vehicles trying to make their way down the highway. One family inside a car got stuck and needed help to get off the road, but there are no reports of injuries. Eventually, the floodwaters washed away.
Greenway Road was also flooded at the I-17 underpass. It does not appear that any cars were stuck there, but you'll want to avoid the area tonight.
Circle K gas station damaged
And the north Valley didn't escape Mother Nature. Near 7th Street and Coral Gables Drive, a Circle K gas station's canopy was damaged during the storm.
"Just pounding the area and the winds were blowing so hard. I was outside pointing out that the water coming off the roof through the pipes on the ground were blowing like a fire hose," said Trey Hopper.
Witnesses tell us there was one man with his car at the Circle K gas pump when it happened. No injuries were reported, but it was shocking to watch.
"The guy goes 'oh my God, look at this!' And he pointed at the Circle K thing, and it fell down it went wham! It just exploded when it hit the ground. It was crazy. It was really, really intense," said Trey.
The neighborhood near 7th Street and Coral Gables was hit hard by the monsoon's wind and rain.
The South Mountain area was also flooded and much of Ahwatukee saw a massive dust storm take over. While trees fell, it was nothing like the collapse at the Circle K.
"Guy goes, oh check this out, and I look over, and the thing was swaying and it just snapped and fell right over. It's crazy."
Sunnyslope flooding and Casa Grande dust
Roads were flooded in the Sunnyslope neighborhood. FOX 10 viewer Jonathan Bailey shared video with us from the area of 12th Street and Hatcher. You can see how part of the road was filled with water earlier this evening.
Over in Casa Grande, FOX 10 viewer Kim Adair shared video of the dust rolling her way, which brought low visibility for drivers in the area. She also sent videos of the storms dumping rain onto the streets, turning roads into rivers. You could see drivers trying to navigate their way through the flooded streets.
Vote center flooded
Another spot hit hard was a voting center in downtown Phoenix near 1st Street and Jackson. The vote center is inside the OIC building. Maricopa County officials tweeted that workers are trying to determine if the center will be open before Tuesday's primary election. For a list of when and where you can vote early, head to https://fox10phoenix.com/vote.
Raging floodwaters in Flagstaff
In Flagstaff, a canal filled with raging floodwaters in Doney Park. And U.S. Highway 89 was shut down in both directions due to flooding.
About 12 miles outside of Flagstaff, you can see workers using heavy machinery to remove all the water, mud and debris from the highway. This was near burn scars from recent wildfires.
Many drivers were stuck in traffic due to the closure.
Flagstaff is having a rough monsoon, which won't officially end until the late September.
The Flood Control District of Maricopa County stated, "Multiple clusters of thunderstorms are expected to move northwest across the Lower Salt River Lakes recreational areas (Saguaro, Canyon, and Apache) over the next hour or two. Any of these storms have the potential to produce frequent lightning strikes, wind gusts to 30-50mph, and heavy rainfall. Boaters, as well as those on shore hiking/camping, will need to use caution as the storms move through the areas over the coming hours."
Some areas seeing more rain than others
According to officials with the National Weather Service, the state is at or just above normal precipitation for the year so far, and that does help alleviate the drought a bit.
However, not all areas are seeing the same amount of rain. In June, areas west and south of Phoenix saw above-normal rain totals, but areas north and east of Phoenix were below normal.
Flooding worries increase for Flagstaff residents
Recent storms, and by extension, the monsoon season, affected more than just people in the Phoenix area.
Flash flooding is expected for portions of Yavapai and Coconino counties. The Flood Watch, which has been extended multiple times this week, remains in effect for the high country until Sunday.
Parts of the northern Arizona city and surrounding areas have been hit with multiple rounds of flooding in recent weeks and months. Cleanup efforts for those floodings remain ongoing, as boulders and mud from the mountain slide into homes and front yards just as quickly as crews clean them out.
On July 29, Stevanna Street flooded again – for the third time this week – thanks to the Pipeline Fire scar, which was created earlier this summer.
Several city departments were back at it with heavy equipment, picking up load after load of thick, wet, heavy mud.
Friday's storm hit in mid-afternoon, with 2 or 3 inches of rain falling in less than an hour.
Flagstaff officials warned residents to shelter-in-place, or get to higher ground. Residents in the area have been building sandbag walls all week. They say the water flow seems to change with each storm, so they make their best guess, cross their fingers, and rely on good friends to lend a helping hand.
"We're just here to help Katy and Steve," said Kim Marr. "We just brought some sandbags out so we're just trying to give them a little bit of a break."
"It's been a rough day, very emotional," Katy Abrams said. "The good news is we're all working together and helping each other out. I think our sandbagging efforts worked well. It's just too much water."
Now comes another night and day of cleanup, and waiting on the next storm to arrive. We're not even halfway through the monsoon season – which officially wraps up on Sept. 30.
July 27: State of Emergency declared in Flagstaff
In Flagstaff, the city's mayor signed a Declaration of Emergency, as the city is affected by flash flooding caused by rain falling on burn scars from recent wildfires, which made the soil basically water repellant. The emergency declaration will help members of the community access much-needed resources.
Adverse weather conditions began to be felt in areas south of the Valley during the afternoon hours. Our photojournalist managed to capture video of a storm cloud that dumped rain in an area south of Riggs Road and the I-10.
Later on, SkyFOX also captured rain falling in other parts of the Valley, with pockets of rain and thunderstorms popping up in the areas of Litchfield Park, Maryvale, and Youngtown.
This storm came a day after two rounds of monsoon weather moved through parts of the Valley. A Dust Advisory was issued for parts of the East Valley, including Ahwatukee, Chandler, and Tempe until 2:45 p.m. on July 25. The dust storm moved out fairly quickly, but it was followed by a strong storm cell a few hours later, which brought heavy rain to parts of the East Valley.
At one point on the night of July 25, about 1,100 SRP customers were without power. Power has since been restored.
Storm brought heat relief for Valley residents
The storm did bring down temperatures in parts of the Valley, and for some pet owners, it was a time to take their pets out to the park.
"It is very nice. A lot cooler to take the dog out. He’s been dying to go to the dog park, clearly," said Ashley Kelly-LaSalle.
"It’s very hot. I feel like my skin is cooking every time I walk out in the sun, but now, anything over a hundred is like, ‘wow! this is nothing!’" said Evan Soloman.
Soloman is experiencing the monsoon for the first time: he moved to Phoenix from South Carolina.
"It's not any worse than any hurricanes we get down south," said Soloman.
"I just feel like it's the last two days. I mean, they've cleared a lot of this, but it's just coming back every time. That's what's a little demoralizing about it," said Lisa Wells.
Meanwhile, rainy weather is causing more concerns over the potential for more flooding to take place.
"It's been a lot of rain the last few days," said Wells.
- 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:
- Turn around 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.
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.