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Phoenix Fire Captain recounts Sunday flash flood rescues

Heavy rains flooded Valley washes and streets on Sunday morning, leading to several necessary road closures and rescues.

In Scottsdale, 25 firefighters rescued a driver trapped in a wash near 83rd Street and Desert Cove.

In Phoenix, firefighters were called to two water rescues in one hour, both near 40th Street, south of Shea. The first involved a man in a Paradise Valley neighborhood who was attempting to pass through a wash.

“Initially, the water was right at her door line so she could not make it out,” said Phoenix Fire Captain Larry Nuñez.

The next involved another man who was trying to cross a wash. “He was coming in at a pretty decent speed thinking she could just race through the water but apparently could not,” Nuñez explained. “As soon as the water hit the vehicle, it turned it around and took it down the wash.”

Three blocks from where the man entered the water, rescuers caught up with him and got him to safety. Nuñez says both drivers are okay, but there’s a bigger point he wants to make.

“They’re taking a chance. Obviously if we do have signs up, there is that motorist law and we’ll fine them and they’ll be charged for the rescues.”

In these cases, Nuñez said the water rose so fast that workers could not get all the signs up in time. He says drivers should avoid washes and streets with running water.

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