Rain causes some street flooding in metro PhoenixPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP) -- Heavy rain flooded parts of a freeway and some streets in the Phoenix metropolitan area on Monday and also caused some power outages.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said the Interstate 17 underpass at Greenway Road in Phoenix was flooded Monday afternoon. The Deer Valley Road and Bell Road underpasses also had deep standing water causing problems for drivers.
Driving was dangerous. One man got his car stuck on Greenway Road under Interstate 17. He said he got stranded trying to help another driver.
"Car in front of me stalled so I got out to help her," said Mike, who did not want to give his last name. He said he pushed that car out of the way and by the time he got back to his car it was stuck and flooded.
A flooded parking lot at Valley Academy charter school in North Phoenix was a big problem for parents trying to pick up their children. The school is on Rose Garden Lane, near 19th Avenue and Deer Valley Road.
A pickup truck ended up submerged in the parking lot when the driver, who was at the school to get his grandchildren, accidentally drove into the flood and got stuck, according to the driver's son-in-law.
Some people from the school helped the driver out of the truck and got him to safety.
There was also some street flooding in parts of Gilbert, Mesa, Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Queen Creek and San Tan Valley.
San Tan Boulevard in Queen Creek was closed because of damage caused by flooding. The rain runoff ripped up the asphalt near Sossaman Road.
Many other roads in the area were also flooded on Monday and appeared impassable but some drivers took the chance.
"I was going like 10 miles an hour, just like gliding through the water," said one motorist.
As school was getting out, the road damage led to delays. School buses had to turn around and find alternate routes.
"It's a zoo because everybody's trying to run around trying to figure out which way to go," said one dad who was trying to pick up his children from school.
A Tempe neighborhood near U.S. 60 and Rural Road had some severe flooding on Monday. Residents say heavy rain has been problem for years.
Rainwater backed up in the street ended up in some homes, destroying carpeting, furniture, clothing, and other valuables.
"Everything comes down here and it floods this and there's a drain right there but it doesn't seem to pick anything up," explained resident Chad Robertson. "This year it decided to go all the way into the garage, all the way into the house and all over the carpets."
"I don't know what to do," said Don Thomas. "I'm just frustrated. It flooded my office floor so I had papers on the floor that I was doing some taxes so that's ruined."
The residents said they have been asking officials in Tempe to fix the problem for years. One resident said he is considering taking legal action.
Cave Creek and Carefree
There was also heavy rain in and around the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree. The Grapvine and Galloway washes were swollen with runoff which made for treacherous driving on Spur Cross Road and Old Schoolhouse Road.
Some drivers took their chances crossing the fast-moving water flowing over the roadways.
Others decided waiting or turning around was a better choice.
"We got a small car so I think we might sit until the sun comes out," said one motorist. "I'm not the smartest guy in the world but I don't want to be called stupid too much."
Heavy equipment operators were busy clearing debris washed onto the roads by the floodwater.
Phoenix police said that by 3 p.m. Monday, officers had handled 164 traffic hazard calls with at least eight of those involving people stranded in their cars. There were no reported injuries.
There was a 28 percent increase in emergency calls in Phoenix, almost 700 more calls this Monday than during the same time last Monday. These were alarms, vehicle accidents, road closures, flooding issues and requests to check on citizens.
AAA Arizona received more than 1,700 calls on Monday for roadside assistance. Most of the calls were for tire failure or vehicle tows.
Salt River Project reported more than 1,000 of its customers are without power in Glendale and Peoria. SRP says crews are working to restore electricity.
Sky Harbor Airport received a half inch of rain as of 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Peoria got an inch-and-half of rain, and Deer Valley Airport got two-and-half inches of rain. Payson got nearly two inches of rain and Flagstaff was soaked with nearly one inch of rain.
The Associated Press Contributed to this story
**Traffic Alert**: Curb lane closure in the area of Signal Butte/Baseline...use caution. No other areas aside from earlier alert.— Sgt. Tony Landato (@MesaPDPIO) September 9, 2013
It looks like nighttime at I-17 and Bell. pic.twitter.com/48JC8vJiK9— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) September 9, 2013
*****Traffic Alert***** Heavy rain has contributed to more than 20 crashes in the east valley. US 60 @ SR101 is closed due to standing water— Officer Carrick Cook (@DPSOfficerCook) September 9, 2013