Monsoon storms drop heavy rain on Tucson area

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- Heavy rainfall from thunderstorms in the Tucson area resulted in street closures and at least one water rescue Tuesday as monsoon storms soaked communities across the state.

Some parts of the Tucson area received nearly 1.5 inches of rain, resulting in runoff had water flowing in the normally dry Santa Cruz River in downtown Tucson.

Rural-Metro firefighters rescued a person from a vehicle that stalled while being driven through running water above the vehicle's rear bumper in a flooded Tucson-area intersection.

Heavy rainfall also was reported further north in Coconino, Mohave and Yavapai counties.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office said a county Road Department worker reported seeing a male of undetermined age being swept away after falling into a running wash while walking on an embankment in the Kingman area Monday evening.

A search that continued into Tuesday morning was fruitless, and it was not known if the unidentified person somehow saved himself, the sheriff's office said.

Meanwhile, parts of the Phoenix area cleaned up from the second damaging monsoon storm in as many days.

A monsoon storm late Monday knocked down numerous trees in east Phoenix, leaving many fallen tree trunks and limbs in yards and on streets. High wind also knocked down a traffic light pole.

Power was knocked out in several neighborhoods, affecting thousands of customers, and flooding disrupted traffic.

In north Phoenix, firefighters used ropes and a pulley system to rescue a 56-year-old motorist after she tried to cross a wash. Georgia Arneson said there was only a little water in the wash when she drove into it but that a wave of water carrying debris trapped her.

In east-central Arizona, an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer was hospitalized in serious condition after being injured when his patrol vehicle crashed near Payson on State Route 87. A DPS spokesman said the single-vehicle accident was related to weather.

While widespread storm activity continued Tuesday, the National Weather Service said dry air is expected to move into the region on Wednesday, limiting thunderstorms to higher terrain north and east of Phoenix.

A storm late Sunday caused similar damage in Phoenix-area suburbs and in the Tucson area, where high wind flipped a retired F-16 onto another aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

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