PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The desert washes in north Phoenix seem to be doing their jobs. After some places got about an inch of rain in 24 hours, the Moon Valley wash on 7th Avenue (just north of Coral Gables) is blocked off.
Some drivers decided against facing floodwaters, choosing (wisely) to turn around and find a different route.
“I turned around. This is my wife’s car; I don’t want to take a chance,” said James Brandt, laughing.
[FORECAST: Rain and snow continue across Arizona]
Some drivers sat and toyed with the idea of splashing through for quite a while. Still others didn’t give crossing a second thought.
“I can’t believe people are going through this, and they were going through so fast,” said Julie Luedtke. “I mean because it’s running pretty hard!”
From the pedestrian bridge that runs overhead, Luedtke said it looked like the water was shallower and faster than normal – perhaps because of the debris they saw crews clean out recently. But she was still dismayed by what drivers were doing.
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“Cars are going through it and they should know better. I mean, this place floods and people have gotten stuck,” she said.
We saw school buses and delivery trucks plow right through the wash, which made Brandt give a little more thought to his decision to turn around.
“Yeah, I’m thinking about it but [driving through] just ‘cause I’m too lazy to go around,” he said.
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One boy rode his bike through 7 or 8 inches of water on his way home from school -- and made it to the other side. Someone’s rogue recycling bin was headed downstream, too.
APS had a power outage that affected about 1,800 people in the area for an hour and a half, and they say the burned switch they were dealing with may have been weather related.
Around 5 p.m. the City of Phoenix closed the wash crossing. Monica Hernandez with the Street Department says once the water goes down they’ll have to see how much cleanup will be involved before the road reopens.
“The good part is, it doesn’t last very long. By the weekend it’ll be 70 and sunny,” Luedtke said.
The City’s street department reminds everyone of the dangers of driving through floodwaters. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell how deep the water you’re driving in actually is until it’s already too late.