Flash flooding continues to threaten Arizona as of July 2021. Despite the state’s current droughts, flash flooding is anticipated. High precipitation levels are expected across the US, but the bulk of rain will fall over Arizona. Monsoon storms will also lead to flash flooding.
What Arizona weather conditions trigger flash floods?
The desert Southwest is home to eight million people. Across the state of Arizona, flash flood watches have been issued as recently as July. Summer weather forecasts predict heavy rains, and high amounts of precipitation are strong contributors to flash flooding in the region.
Furthermore, monsoon season in Arizona is a trigger for flash floods. The Grand Canyon State’s monsoon storms are accompanied by sudden, torrential rains that are restricted to particular areas. The landscape, filled with thousands of gullies and washes, are susceptible to dangerous flash floods.
Monsoon season in Arizona begins on June 15 and continues until September 30. Despite the attraction of Arizona’s landscapes, residents are urged to be especially careful. The dry heat prompts dips or swims in rivers—but waterways can flood and turn deadly amidst sudden monsoon thunderstorms.
Flash flooding in Arizona or any other state in the nation causes severe and quick destruction. Even small waterways can transform into intimidating walls of water reaching 30 feet in height. The destructive walls of water overpower buildings and vehicles and are known to take human lives.
The Grand Canyon State undergoes flash flooding when severe thunderstorms produce heavy rains. Since storms tend to move slowly or drop rainfall in a localized area, the chances of flash flooding increase exponentially. Short bursts of rainfall can cause flash flooding, too.
Remote rains are known to result in catastrophic flash floods. Calm channels and ravines next to a campsite, for instance, may turn into raging waterways within minutes of a flash flood. Residents should avoid slot canyons, because these areas can quickly become deadly during a flash flood.
Wildfires, too, trigger flash floods in the state, due to the lack of vegetation to absorb the water. Arizona has been recently hit by multiple wildfires. The resulting burned areas are more vulnerable to flash floods, which can be filled with large debris, like logs, ash, stumps, and rocks.
What safety measures are helpful during flash floods?
Flash floods mostly occur with little to no warning. Arizona residents can take steps to keep themselves and their families safe by first understanding the differences between a flash flood watch, which indicates flooding is possible, and a flash flood warning, which means flooding is underway.
Arizonans should pay close attention to weather alerts on the radio or television. Sign up for community warning systems through the Emergency Alert System or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio. Heed evacuation orders when flood warnings are issued.
During a flash flood, Arizona drivers are advised to not drive around barricades that are blocking a flooded road. Rather, back up the vehicle and choose an alternate route. Flash floods are known to wash out bridges; drivers are urged to avoid driving over bridges with quickly moving water underneath.
Large vehicles, like SUVs, can be dragged by flash flood waters that are a mere 12 inches deep. Drivers must avoid driving through puddles during a flash flood; although appearing shallow, some puddles may disguise major hazards, from debris to washed out roads.
State residents who are at home during a flash flood are advised to take equally stringent precautions to stay safe. Evacuate upon orders from officials. Flash floods are rarely predictable, so heeding evacuation instructions in a timely manner is critical to preserving personal safety.
Avoid the attic when caught in the grips of a flash flood. The rising floodwaters can trap a home’s occupants when they seek higher ground in the attic. If floodwaters enter the home, avoid touching the water. Wading in water that touches electrical cords can cause electrocution.
What are steps to take after a local flash flood?
Once a flash flood has passed, return home only after officials declare it is safe to do so. Loose power lines, broken gas lines, and faults in the foundation are indications of danger. Enter the home after local building officials have performed an inspection.
Odors of natural gas or hissing noises are warnings; homeowners who smell or hear gas leaks should exit the home immediately and call the fire department. When power lines are down outside the home, a lifesaving measure is to avoid stepping in puddles of water or standing water.
A home ravaged by flash flooding will sustain some level of water damage. Document the water damage with photos and videos for insurance purposes. Clean the property of contaminants and disinfect any goods that have come into contact with the floodwaters.
Upon ensuring personal safety after the floodwaters have receded, it is critical to begin the restoration process. Promptly addressing the water damage will prevent the ruin from spreading. Consult the water damage restoration pros at ServiceMaster All Care Restoration for immediate service.
Water damage of any level is an emergency. Porous materials absorb water at a rapid rate, which permits the water damage to spread. The building materials become weak, rotted, and moldy. Without professionally addressing the damage, the safety and integrity of the building are compromised.
Technicians from ServiceMaster All Care Restoration are highly skilled to treat water damage quickly and successfully. We utilize high-tech water extraction equipment to fully remove excess moisture from the affected areas. Our powerful dehumidifiers and air movers thoroughly dry the property.
Our crews of water damage cleanup pros also perform content cleaning tasks. We restore water damaged personal goods, electronics, and documents. Building areas affected by water damage are cleaned. Personal belongings, if salvageable, are fully restored. Mold remediation is provided, too.
Property owners in Arizona’s Maricopa, Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties rely on the comprehensive flood damage cleanup services provided by ServiceMaster All Care Restoration. We are available 24 hours a day to respond to calls. When a water damage emergency strikes, call us.