Flash flooding is a flood caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through river beds, urban streets, or mountain canyons, sweeping everything before them. They can occur within minutes or a few hours of excessive rainfall. The majority of flood-related deaths in Arizona are from people attempting to drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of water can knock over an adult, and as little as one foot of water can move a vehicle. Two feet of moving water can easily carry a vehicle away. Experts warn that if you can't see the pavement underneath the water, then you shouldn't risk driving through it. Floodwater can be flowing significantly deeper and faster than it appears. Never drive around barricades, it is much safer to find another route than endangering your life.
Turn Around, Don't Drown
Due to the geographic makeup of our state, the weather can vary dramatically from region to region. When traveling throughout Arizona, pay attention to weather reports, watches, and warnings, current conditions, conditions forecasted for the areas you are traveling through, and conditions for your final destination.
Heavy monsoon rains can lead to flash flooding. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock down an adult, and 18 inches of water can carry most vehicles away. Avoid low-water crossings and areas that are already flooded. Never drive around barricades or attempt to cross streets with flowing water.
For flood-related information, visit our Flood Control District page
Information from the Pinal County Public Works Road Maintenance Department
Road maintenance crews try their best to close flooded roadways as soon as possible, but motorists may be in the area before crew workers can get to a location. Use good judgment, and do not attempt to drive through a road with moving water, whether it has barricades or not. Water can be deeper than it appears. According to the National Weather Service, it only takes 1 to 2 feet of water to carry away most vehicles. However, the impact from rushing water can start far shallower than that. Six inches of water can reach the bottom of most passage cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Citizens, please contact us if you notice a roadway is starting to flood. We will get crew members out there as soon as possible to assess the situation.
Pinal County Public Works Road Maintenance will be on the scene to conduct repairs as soon as a safe opportunity is available. Please be alert and comply with all warning signs, and drive with caution on Pinal County roadways for the safety of yourself, Pinal County workers, and equipment.
Please call our Citizen Contact Center line at 520-866-6411 during business hours from 8 am to 5 pm with inquiries. You may also call the Sheriff's Office at 520-866-5111 during after-hours. For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1
Sandbags are available for Pinal County Residents. Pinal County only provides sandbags and sand. You will need to bring your own shovel to load the bags. There is a limit of 25 bags per household.
For more information, visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network