PHOENIX — The destruction, disarray and frustration caused by Arizona’s record-breaking flooding on Monday took national headlines by storm. But many Arizonans found the floods to be a unique opportunity for fun in unusual places.
Arizona’s fierce monsoon was one for the record-books, with around 3.29 inches of rain in Phoenix and about 4.41 in Mesa in the course of just a few hours. The Phoenix area usually gets about 7 inches of rain in an average year.
That onslaught trapped drivers all over the Valley. Interstate 10 east of 43rd Avenue became a pond, stranding dozens.
Both Gov. Jan Brewer and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton declared Arizona and Phoenix to be in a state of emergency.
Two people were killed in separate incidents when their cars were submerged in the fast-moving water.
School districts, colleges and universities cancelled classes, while utility companies estimated at least 10,000 people were without power.
But even with these losses, some Arizonans saw the water-filled parks and raging washes as chances to find a bright side to the monsoon: water sports.
A few friends decided to go “urban rafting” on an inner tube in a Scottsdale wash, shouting with excitement throughout the ride. Others went jet skiing in a flooded park, while another group cruised on a small boat.
No matter their sport of choice, these Arizonans found a way to have fun in the wake of a difficult day for the state.