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Phoenix office, traffic app team up to help during monsoon season

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – A partnership between a Phoenix government office and the makers of a traffic app should provide fast response to storm-related emergencies, with the help of everyday drivers.

“In emergency management, I think there’s an opportunity for us to say, ‘what are those things out there that will allow us to inform our residents and help them make safe decisions as they are moving around town?'” Lisa Jones, director of the Phoenix Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said Tuesday.

She told KTAR News 92.3 FM the department worked with representatives from Waze, the navigation and traffic alerts app, to integrate the system for Phoenix residents to report certain issues they see. The hope is that direct connection will bring help quickly, particularly during a monsoon storm.

“You’re driving … you see a flooded intersection, for example, or you see a pothole,” Jones said at the Phoenix Fire Training Academy near 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.

“We want our residents to be able to communicate that to us. That way we can get immediately to the area. We see it as a win-win, using technology that’s already there.”

She said the popularity of the app was a factor in the team-up.

Eventually, the office will have electronic boards that will relay the relevant real-time information residents share.

“We can overlay (that) with other information we already have,” Jones said, including monsoon weather coming through the Valley.

“We can start to move resources into those areas” as necessary, she said.

Monsoon season in Arizona officially starts June 15.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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