Boom or bust. That’s how the National Weather Service described the storm cycling through Maricopa today.
Last night’s storm tore down trees and stripped 450 residents of power — including Maricopa High School this morning — according to ED3. Quite the entrance for a monsoon some thought might never come.
“Last night, we experienced the first major monsoon storm of the season that brought wind and rain to the city,” Maricopa’s emergency manager, George Burger, told InMaricopa.
What he didn’t mention is it could also be the last.
“We haven’t seen a whole lot of weather across most of the region for most of the monsoon and things usually start to wind down in September,” NWS meteorologist Tom Dang said in a press conference this morning. “This may or may not be one of the last active days that we’ll see in the monsoon.”
More thunderstorms are expected to roll in today. Well, maybe — it’s got even Arizona’s top weathermen stumped.
Dang said while this year’s monsoon has “been mostly a dud,” today’s activity could ravage the region.
“It looks like another active day for thunderstorms … but today has a very high boom or bust potential,” Dang said. “Flooding is the highest risk but there is some potential for gusty winds and blowing dust as well. I’ll say right now that in the worst-case scenario, some local spots could see up to three inches of rain.”
Cool temps bring flood watch
As the Labor Day weekend begins, Maricopa residents can expect cool temperatures. Afternoon highs will range from 92 to 101 degrees, and evenings will feel almost chilly in the low- to mid-70s.
With a mounting chance of excessive rainfall throughout the day, NWS issued a flood watch for most of the state through midnight. Locals should keep an eye out for excessive, fast-moving water in rivers, washes and other flood-prone areas.
Residents should avoid these areas throughout the day, especially when driving.
“Most injuries and deaths come from people in cars driving through flooded roads,” Dang said. “Our general rule for floods is ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ It doesn’t take much water to wash a car away.”
It only takes six inches of rushing water for most people to lose their balance and for cars to stall out or lose control. One foot of water will cause most vehicles to float, and two feet can carry away a vehicle, including pickup trucks and SUVs, according to NWS.
“I have not been notified of any public property damage,” Burger said.