Roads both big and small have been overtaken with rainwater in the Phoenix area today, after strong storms hit early this morning. At least one death has been reported in the region, and a state of emergency has been declared.
Weather experts say that the more than 3 inches of rain already recorded in the Phoenix region Monday breaks a record that was set more than 70 years ago.
“The previous record for rainfall in Phoenix was back in 1939,” reports Sarah Ventre of member station KJZZ, “and the average amount of yearly rainfall is only about 8 inches total.”
A woman died in a severely flooded road in Tucson. From KOLD TV News:
“According to the Tucson Fire Department, crews responded to reports of a car in the Alamo Wash near Kolb Road at 9:31 a.m. The first unit on the scene could not see the vehicle.
“A bystander reported that the car was pinned against a pedestrian bridge, completely submerged.”
The station adds that firefighters spotted a person in the car “before it disappeared under the water, which was about 12 feet deep.”
In Phoenix, a child was rescued from drowning after being trapped in a storm drain, Ventre reports from KJZZ. The station’s Stina Sieg also spoke to a man whose car was rerouted from a flooded street — only to find himself in an area where some cars had already been abandoned.
“Water was up to my side doors,” Jeff Greenmun says. “I wasn’t sure I was actually going to get out of that neighborhood.”
The storms began hitting the area in the early-morning darkness Monday, flooding parts of Interstate 10 and stranding drivers. In addition, both Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton have declared states of emergency in the area.