Pinal County residents back home after flooding

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) -- Residents in Pinal County are back in their homes after they had to evacuate early Sunday morning because of the rising San Pedro River, authorities said.

Pinal County Sheriff's Office communications supervisor Angelique Graham said the water has since receded and no residences were being threatened. But the flooding has left officials somewhat puzzled.

"It's a fluke. It's not really in an area that normally floods," Graham said.

Sheriff's officials initially planned to evacuate 15 homes located a few miles north of the town of Mammoth, in an area where 1-2 feet of water flowed over the river's banks.

Only three homes were evacuated because one resident was disabled and the other homes had children, according to Graham. No emergency shelter was set up since all the evacuees had family nearby. Meanwhile, the remaining residents refused to leave but nobody was injured.

The area is about 40 miles southeast of Florence.

The National Weather Service plans to help investigate what caused it, Graham said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Drozd said the river crested Saturday evening but it's unlikely the amount of water flow would have been high enough to cause flooding.

"Looking at the gauges, it doesn't seem likely that amount of flow would have overtopped the banks unless something else happened such as debris clogged up the system," Drozd said.

The river runs north until it joins the Gila River several miles north of Mammoth.

The flooding comes after a tropical weather system drenched parts of far southern Arizona Thursday. Cochise County officials said the San Pedro flooded down there.

The region was still recovering at the time from getting rain and flooding from remnants of Hurricane Norbert, which swept the Southwest Sept. 8.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.