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Prepare for Monsoons


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

"For us it is not tornados, it is flash flooding and straight-line winds," said Shane Kiesow, public works manager for the city of Apache Junction. "During this dry time of year, before the monsoon arrives, it is an opportunity for everyone to ensure all drainage areas through our properties are clear of debris and things are secure against wind.  Even the smallest debris, especially loose debris or dead vegetation, can clog downstream culverts and cause more severe flooding than what would have occurred.  When the rains do come, many of our roads are rural in character and have very limited to no lighting making water crossings a challenge to see at night.  Please slow down, be vigilant and do not cross flooded washes."  

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 which 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 are especially difficult to see.

In the event of heavy rains and potential flooding, Pinal County continues to provide free sandbags to San Tan Valley residents. Citizens need to bring necessary tools to fill their own bags and arrange pickup and delivery. The sand bins and bags would be available around the clock at various locations.

Additionally, the monsoon season also brings with it the chance for microbursts, strong winds, lightning and risk of 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. 

 For more information on monsoon safety please visit Visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network at for official emergency updates, preparedness and hazard information and multimedia resources.
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