Monsoon Special 2013: Flood victim relives monsoon horror


by Royal Norman

Bio | Email | Follow: @RoyalNorman

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 5 at 4:00 PM

ANTHEM, Ariz -- In an average summer thunderstorm season the Valley gets about an inch of rain a month. But can you imagine more than five inches of rain in about 90 minutes?

That's what happened in Anthem on July 31, 2012 when a huge thunderstorm swamped this neighborhood and changed lives forever.

It was a storm that moved north along the I-17 corridor and then stalled out. And within seconds,
water was running everywhere, including through many homes.

That home with the huge hole in the cinder block wall was Jeanette Feeley's house. At least it
was her home.

"I heard a crack and then I saw bricks exploding, water like spraying out and then other holes in the fence started happening. I can see it in my mind," Feeley recalled.

In an instant, Feeley was pulled underwater, her life in the balance.

"The water was very powerful, I would go underwater and come back, go under and come back up. So as I'm coming towards the house my thought was, and these are split seconds, but I was thinking, if I hit the house, I probably won't survive," Feeley said.

Feeley scaled a nearby fence and began checking on the well-being of her neighbors. But she soon learned the entire area was not in a flood zone and insurance didn't cover the damage.

Her home virtually condemned, she had to walk away.

"It was a great home that has a lot of memories that were full of joy and for that I'm grateful and I want to leave it at that," said Feeley.

A bank eventually stepped in and repaired the home, and now it's up for sale awaiting its next