Flooding Closes Streets, South Mountain Access
A heavy storm moved into the Valley late yesterday, forcing firefighters in Phoenix to rescue at least at half-dozen motorists from stranded vehicles.
The monsoon storm caused a massive landslide on South Mountain’s north side. David Urbinato, with the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, said mud, boulders and debris washed down a major ravine.
Urbinato said longtime park rangers have never seen anything like this.
"It was really was an impressive field of debris, but crews are slowly chipping away at it and clearing out the road," he said.
The Central Avenue entrance, which includes the popular Summit Road, is currently closed
KJZZ’s transmitter on South Mountain was knocked off the air and road debris kept engineers from reaching the area to return service.
The storm delivered the biggest punch of the monsoon season so far, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marvin Percha.
“We’ve had probably the most general rainfall over the Valley that we’ve seen so far this summer. Most areas have gotten rain amounts from a few hundredths up to over an inch in parts of the southeast Valley," Percha said.
Severe flooding along Dobbins Road in South Phoenix is causing serious problems for drivers Wednesday morning. Dobbins Road between 7th Avenue and 35th Avenue was especially hard hit by the storm, and is currently closed.
Matthew Heil, a public information officer with the City of Phoenix, says crews are working hard to reopen roads and remove debris.
"I expect they’ll be out there at least until middle of day, because once they get the flooding taking care of additional debris that going to need to be cleaned up. And if we have any more rainfall, then they will probably have to get out there again," Heil said.
The downpour caused street flooding in Gilbert and Mesa and knocked down some power lines.
Officially, Sky Harbor Airport had .44 of an inch of rain during the storm but many areas had well over an inch, including around South Mountain.
Updated 8/13/2014 at 11:17 a.m.