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Heavy rain forces road closures, flood watches in Arizona

More heavy rain is on the Valley forecast for Sunday night into Monday.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Heavy rain closed roads in Tucson and triggered flood watches and warnings across much of Arizona on Saturday, with more in the forecast through the weekend.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or damage. 

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But the National Weather Service warned the heaviest rain was expected Saturday evening into Sunday in south-central and southwest Arizona.

Between 1 and 2 inches (2.5 and 5 centimeters) had fallen Saturday afternoon in Pinal County south of Phoenix, the service said. It said more than one-half inch (1.2 cm) of rain fell in just 11 minutes on the southeast outskirts of the city near Queen Creek.

In northern Arizona, the biggest concerns were around the burn scars from recent wildfires, including the Telegraph Fire where up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) of rain had fallen Saturday south of Flagstaff in the area where more than 280 square miles (725 square kilometers) burned in 2021.

In southern Arizona on Friday, emergency crews rescued four hikers stranded in Sabino Canyon east of Tucson, and helped 41 students and staff from Marana off school buses that got stuck in high water when the monsoonal storms began to move in.

Arizona Weather 

Arizona has seen its fair share of severe weather. Here is a compilation of videos from various storms across the Grand Canyon state.

Flooding Safety:

The Arizona Fire & Medical Authority has provided the following tips on what hazards to watch out for during and after a flood, including fire, electrical and chemical safety:

Generators and alternative heating devices can create fire hazards during flooding if they aren’t used correctly or maintained properly. Pools of water and appliances can become electrically charged and can cause electrical fires.

On electricity, residents in flooded areas should turn off the power to their homes if they can reach the main breaker or fuse box. All wiring in the house may be electrically charged and hazardous. Residents should have a professional technician check their home for damages before turning on the power.

Make sure potentially combustible liquids like paint thinner, lighter fluid or gasoline haven’t spilled within or near your home. Keep combustible liquids away from electrical or alternative heat sources as to not start a fire.

All smoke alarms in the home should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced yearly. Some smoke alarms are dependent on your home’s electrical service and may go out when power is turned off.

Make sure the fire hydrant near your home is cleared of debris so the fire department can assess it easily in the event of a fire.

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