Tucson monsoon floods have stranded many and taken a life

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UPDATE: The Pima County Sheriff's Office says a body of man swept down Santa Cruz was found near Camino del Cerro under a pile of debris. The Investigation is continuing.

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson monsoon floods have likely claimed a life.  A powerful storm made its way across Tucson Thursday and a man fell into the Santa Cruz River near Grant Road.

The man was standing on a pillar and was nearly rescued before he fell into the water and powerful currents swept him away.

Crews searched for him for hours Thursday night and the search continued Friday with the waters receded.

There has been no evidence that the man made it out of the water.

Similarly powerful currents were seen around several parts of Tucson Thursday.

They flooded homes and major roadways, backed up traffic for miles and left many cars and pedestrians stranded.

"I'm watching, to see how many cars aren't gonna make it," said Jim Dudley.

Unlike many drivers, Jim Dudley decided to play it safe.

He watched the waters rising at a railroad crossing near Valencia and Nogales Highway and waited.

"That little car doesn't have much ground clearance so I'm not gonna chance it," said Dudley said of his compact hatchback.

A few blocks over bystanders watched as drivers decided to risk it.

"They should use better sense because a lot of them are getting stuck," said Dick Gin.

Gin owns the China Bay restaurant on Valencia near Sixth Avenue.  He took pictures as the side street next to him filled with water.

"I've never seen the water like this and we've been here 22 years," said Gin.

"It just happened in like 30 seconds because I left to go get my daughter at school and by the time I came back 20 minutes later; I came home and it was completely flooded," said resident Maria Lopez.

Emergency crews also battle the water, trying to bypass stalled traffic and stranded pedestrians.

"I think the city of Tucson needs to put some drainage pipes in," said bystander Joseph Ehlers.

And then just as quickly as the storm began.

Some rays of sunshine poked their way through the clouds and onto the running water.

The end of the 2011 monsoon wraps up with a bang, giving Tucsonans a taste of what they missed all summer.

"I thought we had a really bad monsoon because we didn't get enough rain, and now I think we got all the rain," said Lopez.

According to the National Weather Service Thursday's storm helped set a record September rainfall.