Monsoon causes problems on Tucson streets

2013-07-05T15:19:00Z 2013-07-05T17:53:41Z Monsoon causes problems on Tucson streetsArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 05, 2013 3:19 pm  • 

Monsoon storms brought heavy rain and damage to parts of the Tucson area Friday afternoon.

The storms also provided some relief from the scorching heat, dropping temperatures from 100 to the 70s in about an hour.

Rain was heavy primarily in the south and southeast sides and in Green Valley as the storm moved in from the south. The National Weather Service recorded .89 of an inch of rain from the storms at the Tucson Airport.

Unofficial readings from the Pima County Regional Flood Control District showed showed 1 to 2 inches were recorded in areas southeast of Tucson, about an inch in the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base area and about a half-inch in Green Valley. A sensor near Vail recorded nearly 3 inches of rain.

The city's streak of consecutive days with 100 degrees or higher continued, with the high temperature reaching that mark just before the rains came. It makes 35 straight days of 100 degree weather. The record is 39 days.

Public safety crews had to rescue numerous people caught in flooded vehicles.

Between 1 and 4 p.m., Tucson Fire crews responded to nine calls for electrical wires down, two calls for arcing wires, two calls from small fires related to the storms and at least one swift-water rescue.

The worst damage occurred on East Valencia Road near South Campbell Avenue. Several utility poles were knocked down.

Valencia from Campbell to Nogales Highway will be closed for both east and west bound traffic for an extended period of time, possibly overnight, due to the downed power lines, Tucson police said.

Additionally, Del Moral Boulevard between Bilby and Drexel roads will be closed for a period of time due to downed power lines.

Tucson Electric Power said as of about 5 p.m., there were 3,500 customers without power. The outages go as far west as the Tucson Estates area and east to the Pantano/Escalante Road area.

Several cars were caught in the downed wires, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, spokesman for the Tucson Police Department.

Police officers are directing traffic and diverting drivers from the area.

• Flooding has closed South Park Avenue between East Drexel and East Valencia roads

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