Wind, Dust and Rain: Monsoon Season is Here

The City of Apache Junction, Superstition Fire reminds citizens to prepare for flooding, power interruptions

The city of Apache Junction and the Superstition Fire and Medical District want to remind area residents of the threats to our community which often come with the monsoon season.

Monsoon season officially started on June 15, but powerful and dangerous storms can develop at any time. Some areas within the city and surrounding region are prone to flooding, including washes and neighborhoods that are located in low lying zones.

“The predominant natural desert landscape within our community and close proximity to the mountains make the area especially dangerous for flash floods and strong flood currents,” said Shane Kiesow, public works manager for the city of Apache Junction. “It is important for every property owner to reflect on possible impacts of flooding, which could damage their property and their neighbors’. This means making sure all drainage areas through their properties stay clear of debris that may cause more severe impacts of flooding by clogging downstream drainage structures. Drivers also must be aware not to take undo risk in crossing flooded streets that run through washes this monsoon season.”

Rick Ochs, public information officer of the Superstition Fire and Medical District, added, “Driving through flooded washes not only places our citizens at risk, but also the first responders who may be called to perform a water rescue. These types of rescues are very dangerous to everyone involved due to the fast moving water and unknown hazards that lay beneath. Our crews are highly trained and very capable to perform water rescues, but avoiding the dangers of swift moving water and not becoming a victim is the best way for citizens to assure their own safety.”

More deaths occur each year due to flooding than from any other storm-related hazard, because people simply underestimate the power of water. It is also important to know that washes can continue to run heavily for extended periods of time after rain has subsided due to run-off from the mountains. The city of Apache Junction will alert the community of road closures during the monsoon season. Some tips to remember are:

Avoid all water crossings. Flash floods start and end very quickly.Never drive through flooded roadways.

Do not drive around barricades, which is illegal and dangerous. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and stalling. Moving water one to two feet deep will carry away most vehicles.

Be especially cautious at night when road flooding and water crossings can be very difficult to see.

In the event of heavy rains and potential flooding, the city of Apache Junction and the SFMD continue to provide free sandbags to our area residents. Citizens need to bring the necessary tools to fill the bags and arrange pickup and delivery. The sand bins and bags will be available around the clock at the locations listed below:

  • Fire Station 261, 1135 W. Superstition Blvd., Apache Junction
  • Fire Station 262, 3955 W. Superstition Blvd., Apache Junction
  • Fire Station 264, 7557 E. U.S. Highway 60, Gold Canyon

Additionally, the monsoon season brings with it the chance for microbursts, strong winds, lightning and power outages. You can better prepare for these types of incidents by:

  • Securing objects ahead of time to prevent them from blowing away.
  • Trimming potentially damaging trees or tree limbs.
  • Remember that no place outside is safe from lightning during a thunderstorm.
  • Preparing a 72-hour emergency supply kit with plenty of water and non-perishable food to last three days without electrical power, which may affect running water.

To reach the city of Apache Junction Public Works Department, please call 480-982-1055.

The Superstition Fire and Medical District can be reached at 480-982-4440 or visit their website at www.sfmd.az.gov.

For more information on monsoon safety please visit http://monsoonsafety.org. Visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network at EIN.az.gov for official emergency updates, preparedness and hazard information and multimedia resources.

Photo above: Low lying intersections like this one at Broadway and Delaware are slow to drain

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