Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Once a year

Before the monsoons really even started, I was talking about what they'd done around the house. Well, they've started and we've had a little more action in our neck of the woods than I remember in recent years; only a few have brought rain but nearly every day we've suffered the obligatory high-winds, blowing dust and lightning shows.

Without fail, every year the majority of the monsoon's total rainfall comes in just one or two storms. On average, the monsoons bring in the neighborhood of 3.5 inches of rain and most of that (half or two-thirds) comes in just one night. Last night was that night:

Thunderstorms pounded the Valley on Tuesday night, downing power lines, creating winds up to 60 mph and flooding streets. Officials closed several freeways.

Torrential rainfall flooded streets and freeways, including 5 feet of water at Interstate 17 and Thunderbird Road. DPS was forced to shut down Arizona 51 in the area of Highland Street in east Phoenix because of flooding. It now is reopened.

Firefighters, who were on an emergency deployment for the storm, responded to a handful of stranded vehicles. No injuries were reported late Tuesday. However, Rural/Metro Fire Department rescued a person who climbed into a tree after a vehicle went into a wash in Fountain Hills.

Read on to learn more about the water rescues, power outages, and some impressive rainfall totals.

As for us, our part of town received somewhere between 1.5 and 2-inches of rain. We had some hail with accompanying strong gusts of winds and window-pings.

The morning-after assessment revealed that we came through okay, aside from revisiting the obligatory landscaping issues. That and a couple of momentarily freaked-out dogs.

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