Flooding In Arizona Prompts Dramatic Rescues

CREDIT: NBC/Screenshot

A rescuer lands on top of a house in the midst of floods in Arizona.

Heavy rain near Phoenix, Arizona has caused major flooding and trapped multiple residents and motorists, a situation that prompted water rescues.

According to CBS 5, the people trapped by the flooding included a man whose house was surrounded by “raging waters” and a woman whose van became trapped in the floodwaters. She was rescued Tuesday morning. The storm that prompted the rescues dropped 4 inches of rain in some parts of Maricopa County. In the northern suburb of Peoria, 1.75 inches of rain fell in 45 minutes.

“There’s just a massive amount of water coming,” Joe Munoz, spokesman for the Maricopa County Flood Control District, told the Arizona Republic. “Three inches of rain in the watershed is huge.”

The flooding came about a week after a similar storm prompted at least six rescues and caused flight delays and power outages in Arizona.

The storm comes in the middle of the Southwest U.S.’s monsoon season, which typically brings torrential rains to Southwestern states like Arizona in July and August after a dry June. According to the Weather Channel, a quarter of Phoenix’s yearly average precipitation comes in July and August. But as climate change progresses, these types of incidents could become more common in other areas, and more extreme. Warm air has the capacity to hold more moisture than cool air, which means as the earth warms, some places may experience more frequent bouts of dry weather followed by torrential downpours, conditions that are favorable to flooding.