The monsoon season officially began June 15 and ends September 30, so Arizona residents can expect to experience storms throughout the summer. Arizona monsoons vary in intensity, but usually involve wind, blowing dust and rain. Sometimes the thunderstorms are brutal, delivering damaging winds, reducing visibility to near zero, then bringing bursts of dust followed by torrential rain and flash flooding. Anthem has had relatively low-key monsoon seasons the past few years, but we weren’t always so lucky.
The “1000-year storm” of 2012 is one that will stick in the minds of those who were here to experience it. On July 31, 2012, howling winds and torrential downpours dumped 5.01 inches of rain in just 90 minutes, according to the Maricopa County Flood Control District.
The storm was temperamental, leaving some roads and backyards flooded as trees and saguaros toppled over; while at the same time, far eastern parts of Anthem saw only sprinkles. Just a few miles to the south, residents weren’t even aware a storm had blown through.
Once the chaos cleared, 176 trees were lost on Anthem Community Council property alone and three Anthem homes were damaged by floodwaters. While this storm took its toll on property, Anthem’s washes and storm water system worked as they were designed to, in order to minimize damage.
Severe Weather Precautions
The ACC sometimes has to announce emergency closures at the parks and pools during monsoon season. Please be respectful of Parks & Facilities and Community Center staff, including Parks Patrol, if they approach asking you to depart the area or to seek cover.
In the event of threatening weather, pools at the Community Center initially close for a minimum of 45 minutes. After that, the conditions are re-evaluated and if conditions have improved, the Community Center staff can reopen the pool facilities. Residents and guests are asked to move inside when pools close due to approaching weather, as safety is the priority.
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).