Safe driving in Tucson monsoon is as easy as waiting it out

2013-07-17T14:17:00Z Safe driving in Tucson monsoon is as easy as waiting it outKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 17, 2013 2:17 pm  • 

It’s been a fairly dry couple of days in the Old Pueblo, but monsoons are still lurking.

Capt. Grant Cesarek of the Rural/Metro Fire Department has some tips to keep drivers safe during a deluge.

He suggests drivers plan their routes to avoid low areas and washes that cross roadways during heavy rainfall.

“Attempting to pass running water of any depth is dangerous,” he said.

And it’s not just the force of the running water drivers have to worry about. There’s also sand and debris carried downstream that could damage a vehicle or cause it to become stuck.

“Road closure barricades are put up for a reason during monsoon season, please obey the traffic laws associated with the closures,” especially during the evening hours, Cesarek said. “At nighttime vehicle headlights will reflect off the water and give a false appearance of depth, in most cases the water is deeper than appearing.”

And it doesn’t have to be raining in the lower elevations to be dangerous, either, Cesarek said. Mountains rains can fill Tucson washes, too.

Anyone who finds him- or herself trapped by rushing water needs to remain calm and stay with their vehicle.

“Attempting to step into swift moving water can send you down river and into a more dangerous situation,” he said.

Motorists should call 911 for help.

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