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Phoenix Fire captain: Monsoons can be a flood hazard, even in Phoenix

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PHOENIX — The deaths of nine family members north of Payson over the weekend in flash floods is a reminder of the dangers of monsoons.

The monsoons bring not only strong winds and heavy rain, they can trigger deadly flash floods.

Phoenix Fire Captain Ron Jesse said you should keep an eye on what the weather is doing up north.

“The water gets dumped very quickly and it causes a wave of water to come off the mountain into our creeks and riverbeds that haven’t been used in a while with the water,” he said. “And it gets a bunch of momentum coming down and it also has a bunch of debris.”

He said this isn’t something that happens only in mountainous areas.

“This could happen in any one of our washes at any given time during the monsoon season,” Jesse said.

His advice: “Don’t play in the washes, know what the weather report is, and know where the high ground is.”  He added, “And it’s really not a good idea to go out after a storm and go to those areas because it takes a while for that water to come down from up in the mountains to reach the wash.”

Jesse also recommends carrying a cell phone and letting loved ones know where you are, so that your last GPS location can be used to find you in case of an emergency.

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