Rain leads to widespread flash flood warnings - East Valley Tribune: News

Rain leads to widespread flash flood warnings

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Posted: Friday, February 11, 2005 10:46 am | Updated: 7:29 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A flash flood watch has been issued in the Phoenix area until tomorrow morning when rains are expected to lighten.

View Valley rainfall totals

Forecast from National Weather Service

The storm, which started yesterday, will likely drop another half-inch of rain before moving on Saturday evening. Total amount of rain anticipated for the Valley is around two inches.

No road closures have been reported, but debris flows are likely along state highways 87 and 188 northeast of the Phoenix area and the nearby Willow Fire burn area. Flooding is possible near Cave Creek and Carefree.

Officials have closed Tempe Town Lake as more water is released from the Bartlett and Horseshoe reservoirs.

"Because of the wet winter, the reservoirs have gone from 33 percent full to 50 percent full, so we're releasing water in anticipation of the storm," said Patricia Garcia Likens, spokeswoman for the Salt River Project.

Heavy rains combined with a melting snow pack are responsible for the excessive runoff, which is causing rapid rises and heavy flows in and around Tonto Creek. Flash flood warnings have been issued for northwestern Gila county and southeastern Yavapai County.

A flash flood watch is in effect through Saturday afternoon for portions of Coconino, Yavapai, northern Gila, and southern Navajo and Apache counties.

"We're getting a double whammy with so much rain and snow melting," said Randy Cerveny, ASU meteorology professor, "and although it will help our drought, it can lead to some pretty nasty flooding."

Snow levels are 8,000 feet in Show Low, Pinetop and the Sunrise Park Resort ski area.

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