The Desert Southwest on Monday has been hit by heavy rain occurring from the remnants of hurricane Norbert in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, causing the worst ever flooding the region has ever experienced. The cities terribly affected by the flood are Phoenix and Tucson, whereas parts of Southern California and Nevada have also been affected badly.
The situation in Phoenix is so dreadful that freeways have been turned into lakes, thereby forcing the closure of schools, highways as well as streets all through the area. Talking about casualties, one lady in Tucson is reported to have died by getting trapped against a bridge after her car was brushed away by floods.
According to the weather records of the Phoenix, which goes back to 1895, Monday was recorded as the rainiest single day in Phoenix with a forecast of more rains in the night and on early Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service reported that Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport recorded 3.29 inches of rain breaking calendar day record of 2.91 inches of rain set in 1933.
Among other incidents, an Indian reservation was evacuated in the town of Moapa in Nevada since more than four inches of rain fell here within two hours. Officials said that heavy rains were on the verge of breaking a dam on the Muggy River, which supplies water to the already bloated Virgin River. That had the potential to send water inside residences in Moapa. Even vehicles on I-15 near Moapa were washed off the road by floods, said authorities.
Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona declared a “State-wide emergency for areas impacted by today’s severe rainfall and flooding.” School administrators all over the Valley terminated and postponed classes due to the storm, whereas many state employees were ordered to stay home on Monday.
Phoenix usually receives over 3 inches of rain during the rainy months of July, August and September. According to Randy Cerveny, a weather expert and professor of geological sciences at Arizona State University, “This is pretty historic, what we’re seeing.”
James Quiñones, meteorologist with Channel 12, said the region is coping with the biggest flood in 44 years.
The storm also brought a brief rainfall to Los Angeles and parts of Southern California. Palm Springs and its surroundings on Monday reported more than 40 water-related rescues caused by the floods.
As per reports of the National Weather Service, parts of five western states, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado were under flood watches or warnings as of late Monday afternoon.