Arizona’s monsoon 2023 season officially started June 15, and while there have not been any storms yet, the city of Phoenix has asked residents to prepare for the inevitable dust, wind and rain.
For the Phoenix metro area, the National Weather Service has predicted a drier than normal monsoon, which runs through Sept. 15. Still, when the powerful storms arrive, they can cause high winds and flash floods.
At an event June 15 to show storm preparations, Phoenix officials asked residents to plan ahead to prevent damage to their property.
“If this monsoon season is anything like last year’s, we are due for a lot of rain,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “They can be a blessing, bringing us precipitation and relief from summer heat, but they can also be dangerous if we are unprepared.”
Heather Murphy, public engagement coordinator for the Phoenix Street Transportation Department, said employees prepare every year by servicing pipelines in trouble spots and making sure storm sewers and street drains are clear. They use vactor trucks to vacuum large amounts of water from sewer drains.
Gabriel Guillen with the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, said his team has been trimming trees in public areas to prevent fallen branches during strong storms. He encouraged residents to trim trees on their property as well.
The city of Phoenix offers these tips for surviving this year’s monsoon:
Prepare Your Home
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
- Clean out roof drains or scuppers to prevent accumulation of rain water on the roof.
- Thin out trees and trim down overgrown vegetation.
- Clean out drywells on your property so there is safe place for the water to collect.
- Repair landscaping to ensure water will run away from your building.
- Back up all data in case your computer or servers become damaged.
- Look at installing generators or back up battery systems.
- Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Disconnect electrical appliances and don’t touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
- If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
Tips For Drivers
- Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road! The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
- Six inches of water can cause most cars to lose control.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks.
- Don’t drive around barricades. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
- Treat non-working or flashing traffic signals at intersections as a four-way stop. Proceed with caution.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning. Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.