Monsoon Awareness Week is June 10-15, kicking off a season lasting through September that brings dust storms, thunderstorms and flash floods. Monsoon season is a time when we need to take extra safety precautions. Here is a list of must-know monsoon safety tips:
- Move inside and avoid travel during storms.
- If driving during a dust storm with limited visibility, pull off the road and get as far to the right as possible. Turn off the car and headlights. Set the parking brake and do not step on the brake pedal.
- Stay clear of trees, power lines and telephone poles during thunderstorms; remain inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder.
- Do not drive into flooded roadways or go around barricades.
- Do not play or allow children to play in flood waters.
Monsoon storms don’t always follow the calendar. While the season officially begins on June 15 and ends Sept. 30, we can experience these storms throughout the summer. Arizona monsoon storms vary in intensity, but usually involve wind, blowing dust and rain. Sometimes the thunderstorms are brutal, delivering damaging wind, reducing visibility to near zero, then torrential rain, followed by flash flooding. The most severe storms usually occur from the middle of July through the middle of August. Portions of Anthem, Black Canyon and New River have been severely impacted from rainstorms, and the flooding that resulted.
If you’re concerned with flooding, prepare your property ahead of time. Free sand and sandbags are available at:
- Fire Station 141 (43814 N. New River Rd, New River, AZ 85087);
- Fire Station 143 (35050 Old Black Canyon Hwy, Black Canyon City, AZ 85324); and
- Fire Station 146 (3116 W. New River Rd, New River, AZ 85087).