Valley sees rain for first time in over 100 days, bringing relief to some but concern for others

Residents in parts of the Valley woke up to rain falling for the first time in more than 100 days.

110 days, to be exact.

The National Weather Service says rain showers are expected through the morning on Dec. 10, however, they are expected to taper off in the afternoon.

A flood advisory was issued for parts of the Valley until 11:15 a.m.

Over a three-hour period during the early morning hours of Dec. 10, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport recorded over a quarter inches of rain.

After going without rain for so long, Valley residents are grateful for every drop of rain.

"Finally. It's way overdue," said Jim Zick.

"It’s a blessing to get the rain around here," said Danny Alsemay.

The cooler, damp air was a refreshing change at one Christmas Tree lot.

"All I have around here are happy trees," said Dylan Oprea with the Moon Valley Nurseries Christmas Tree Lot.

Workers at the lot work around the clock to keep the trees watered, and on the morning of Dec. 10, mother nature did the work for them.

"From cutting to transportation, they’re kept wet the whole time. it’s very essential. We spray em down every night," said Oprea.

For many homeowners, it's been a struggle to keep their plants alive in 2020, due to a lack of rain.

"We missed the rain," said Zick. "We just redid our yard, re-landscaped our front yard. We lost about a third of them from the heat and lack of rain and everything."

Some farmers concerned over rain

For some, the rain has brought some challenges to their work.

"Everyone thinks rain is good for a farmer. That is not always the case. It depends on the time of year," said Travel Bales with Bales Hay Sales.

The hay sales business thrives when it is hot and dry, which is why Arizona is unique in terms of farming.

"It has allowed us to make beautiful hay," said Bales. "We make some of the nicest cotton in the world because it is dry."

The rain will also have a negative impact on cotton farmers.

"If you still have cotton in the field, then a cotton farmer is going to have an upset stomach," said Bale.

As for Bale's business, he says the start of the rain usually means the beginning of winter, which means they won’t be returning back to that work again until spring.

"Wintertime is definitely the time to rebuild and fix and prepare the next year," said Bale.

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.

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