The city of Apache Junction and the Superstition Fire and Medical District (SFMD) want to remind area residents of the threats to our community which often come with the monsoon season.
Monsoon season officially began on June 15, but powerful and dangerous storms can develop at any time. Some areas within the city and surrounding areas are prone to flooding, including washes, streets, and neighborhoods located in low-lying areas.
“Last year wasn’t much of a Monsoon for us but the weather forecasters are predicting just as active of year this season. From my experience, this means we have a high probability of having a more active season being we didn’t get hit that hard last year,” said Shane Kiesow, public works manager for the city of Apache Junction. “I encourage everyone not to let their guard down and prepare for the Monsoon season which means keeping debris out of washes that could add to flooding problems by plugging drainage structures and to also give attention to items that can be blown away by the windstorms.”
Richard Mooney, public information officer of the Superstition Fire and Medical District, added, “Flooding remains one of the most common causes of weather-related deaths in the United States. Most people greatly underestimate the power of moving water and do not realize that they can drown if they try to drive or walk through it. It is also important to know that washes can continue to run heavily for extended periods of time after the rain has subsided due to run-off from the nearby mountains. Driving through flooded washes places our citizens at risk and the first responders who may be called to perform a water rescue. These rescues are very dangerous to everyone involved due to the fast-moving water and unknown hazards beneath the water. Our crews are highly trained and capable of performing water rescues, but avoiding the dangers of swift-moving water and not becoming a victim is the best way for citizens to assure their safety.”
The city of Apache Junction will alert the community of road closures during the monsoon season. Some tips to remember are:
- Avoid all water crossings
- Flash floods can begin and end very quickly.
- Never drive through flooded roadways.
- Do not drive around barricades, which is illegal and dangerous.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and stalling.
- Moving water one to two feet deep will carry away most vehicles.
- Be especially cautious at night when road ponding and water crossings are difficult to see.
In the event of heavy rains and potential flooding, the city of Apache Junction and the SFMD continue to provide free sandbags to our area residents. Citizens need to bring the necessary tools to fill their own bags and arrange pickup and delivery. The sand bins and bags would be available around the clock at the locations listed below:
- Fire Station 261, 1135 W. Superstition Blvd., Apache Junction
- Fire Station 262, 3995 E. Superstition Blvd., Apache Junction
- Fire Station 264, 7557 E. U.S. Highway 60, Gold Canyon
Additionally, the monsoon season also brings the chance of microbursts, strong winds, lightning, and the risk of power outages. You can better prepare for these types of incidents by:
- Securing objects ahead of time to prevent them from blowing away.
- Trimming potentially damaging trees or tree limbs.
- Remember that no place outside is safe from lightning during a thunderstorm.
- Preparing a 72-hour emergency supply kit with plenty of water and non-perishable food to last three days without electrical power, which may affect running water.
To reach the city of Apache Junction Public Works Department, please call (480) 982-1055.
The Superstition Fire and Medical District can be reached at (480) 982-4440 or visit their website at www.sfmd.az.gov.
For more information on monsoon safety, please visit http://monsoonsafety.org. Visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network at EIN.az.gov for official emergency updates, preparedness, hazard information, and multimedia resources.