Drivers stranded by flooding on I-10Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX – Monday's storm left many drivers stranded on Interstate 10 near 43rd Avenue.
More than two dozen vehicles were partially submerged after the lanes of I-10 flooded around 4 a.m.
"That water out there at my truck is up to my chest," said Joey, whose vehicle was stuck in the flood waters.
He said semitrucks were still going through the water and the waves from them were going completely over many of the stranded vehicles.
He said he helped one woman get out of her car.
"She's out there screaming for help and everybody's standing there so I went out there and helped her get back to the bank," he said.
The water started to recede around 9:30 a.m., leaving a line of mud on the sides and hoods of many of the vehicles.
Some of the stranded drivers said that when the rain was pouring down, there were some Arizona Department of Public Safety officers before the flooded area who were waving them on, but when they reached the area between 35th and 51st avenues, their cars started to float away.
A DPS spokesman told 3TV's Jill Galus that he couldn't speak as to who was out there at that time, but when he arrived at the scene he called the Arizona Department of Transportation and other authorities so the area could be closed off.
He also said it was pitch black so they may not have been able to tell how deep the water was getting and how quickly the conditions were changing until cars started getting stuck.
The freeway was closed between 35th and 67th avenues while ADOT crews worked to clean it up and make the road safe. Westbound I-10 partially reopened around 2 p.m. The eastbound lanes remain closed but are expected to open by early evening.
"Today's record rainfall was a tremendous challenge for ADOT crews working to keep the roads not only open but safe for Arizona drivers," said State Engineer Jennifer Toth. "Our crews have worked hard throughout the day to reopen roads in time for the afternoon drive home."
Interstate 10 reopened in both directions
PHOENIX -- Both the east and westbound lanes of Interstate 10 have reopened after early morning flooding in Phoenix, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. ADOT crews have finished cleanup and reopened the eastbound lanes of I-10 between 51st Avenue and 35th Avenue. The westbound lanes reopened about 2 p.m.
Flooding closed the freeway closed shortly before 4 a.m. after heavy rain fell across the Phoenix area. A record 3.29 inches of rain fell at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport today, the most rainfall ever recorded in a single day, according to the National Weather Service.
For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow us on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 5-1-1.
I-10 Update: The freeway is now closed, 67th Avenue to 35th Avenue. We're working to clean it up and make the road safe to drive again.— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) September 8, 2014
This area now looks like one bad parking lot. Estimate 2-3 hours before I-10 re-opens for traffic pic.twitter.com/hPRQ15XbtL— Jill Galus (@JillGalus) September 8, 2014
People keep saying, "they've never seen anything like this" -- check out all the people watching from the overpass pic.twitter.com/R5MMgXL0oM— Jill Galus (@JillGalus) September 8, 2014
I-10 looking east from 51st Avenue. Freeway is closed. Your patience is appreciated. pic.twitter.com/lOMatXvoyw— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) September 8, 2014
One motorist says, officers told him to drive this route around 5am, but once he did, his car started floating away pic.twitter.com/nIVZHgpQMA— Jill Galus (@JillGalus) September 8, 2014
Cars stuck in flooded freeway since 5 am pic.twitter.com/W9zpjBCgds— Jill Galus (@JillGalus) September 8, 2014