Summer Flooding in Mesa
While the Summer storms here in Arizona can be an amazing spectacle, the large amounts of rain that can fall within a very short period of time can cause dangerous flooding and damage. During the monsoon season, which officially runs from June 15th through September 30th, we can experience severe weather here in Mesa. Now that we’re in the midst of monsoon season, it’s important to be prepared.
Last year, a storm that occurred during monsoon season broke the record for most precipitation in a single day. It occurred on September 8th, 2014. The National Weather Service announced that the Phoenix city rain gauge at Sky Harbor International Airport had received 3.29” of rain, breaking the previous calendar-day record of 2.91”. Several surrounding stations recorded totals above 4 inches, and at least two topped 5 inches.
As a result of the flood, schools were closed, several motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles along the highways and several required water rescues. The storm was also credited with two fatalities and damage to over 200 homes.
If you were here for the storm last year, you know what a monsoon storm is capable of, and the importance of being prepared for one. Here are some extra safety tips for staying safe in the event of a flood:
- If you see flowing water on the street, turn around. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry your car away, even if it is a truck or SUV. If you’re on foot, it’s even more dangerous.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, contact the National Flood Insurance program to learn about measures you can take in advance, and keep these materials on hand: sandbags, plywood, lumber, plastic sheeting, trash bags, shovels, work boots and gloves.
- Purchase a battery-powered weather radio. Hundreds of people were without power for several hours last year.
- Park your vehicle away from streams or rivers, especially during stormy conditions.
For more safety tips and ways to handle a flash flood, go to http://www.oci.ga.gov.