Monsoon rains flooded Valley roads and properties and forced the rescue of motorists from at least eight stranded vehicles in the West Valley late Thursday and early Friday.
A Surprise police sergeant said police and fire rescue personnel had been responding to flooding calls since just before midnight.
He said at least eight people had to be rescued from cars stranded in rushing waters near Avondale Lane and 173rd Avenue.
"There was a lot of rushing water, a lot of vehicles that were disabled," he told CBS 5 News on Friday morning.
Sgt. Mark Ortega, also of the Surprise Police Department, said a fire truck became stuck in one of the washes, emphasizing the need to be aware of how fast the waters can rise.
"The water looked like it was an inch deep and within seconds a wall of water came by," Ortega said. "It might not be raining right here, but water often comes from the north, where it is raining, and as it builds up, you could get another wave."
Ortega said air units were used in the dark to help locate stranded motorists. He said there were a lot of homes in rural areas reached only by unpaved roads and multiple washes that were running with water.
"It was a chore making sure we didn't miss anybody," Ortega said.
He said a few homes reported water up to their doors, but no expansive damage.
The flooding is not only an inconvenience for residents who can't reach or leave their homes, but is a safety hazard for travelers attempting to cross streets covered by water.
"If you see water rising above the tire level, it's time to stop and back up, or don't enter at all," Ortega said.
Rain will taper off Friday before kicking back up for the weekend, according to CBS 5 meteorologist Katie Baker. Some rainfall totals overnight:
Ahwatukee - 0.59 of an inch
Apache Junction - 0.08 of an inch
Gilbert - 0.17 of an inch
Glendale - 0.43 of an inch
Goodyear - 0.31 of an inch
Paradise Valley - 0.16 of an inch
Phoenix - 0.17 of an inch
Scottsdale - 0.24 of an inch
Wickenburg - 0.47 of an inch
Roads in the West Valley were sometimes completely covered in mud, and aerial shots of the area showed cars stuck in water. Floodwater also carried dangerous debris, such as rocks and limbs.
Ortega said motorists stranded in washes or roadways should call 911 if possible. If not, they should try to climb out and on top of their vehicles and stay there as long as possible until they can be rescued.
He said motorists should look for police or other emergency personnel to give them the go-ahead to cross roads affected by the floods, and to remember they could get stuck with the rescue bill under Arizona's "stupid motorists" law.
The city of Nogales reopened the city's main street, Grand Avenue, after flooding receded Friday afternoon. The city was distributing sandbags and planned to open a shelter if more rain comes. Some roads were also closed due to flooding in Standfield and San Manuel areas of Pinal County.[Click here for Maricopa County road closures.]
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, March 9 2014 3:04 PM EDT2014-03-09 19:04:53 GMT
(Source: CBS 5 News)
An administrative law judge with the NTSB ruled Thursday that the FAA has no decision making authority over the operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, also known as UAVs or drones) temporarily clearingMore >
An administrative law judge with the NTSB ruled Thursday that the FAA has no decision making authority over the operation of unmanned aerial systems. More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:36 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:36:20 GMT
Car over the edge of I-17 in Phoenix
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers investigated a bizarre crash Sunday on Interstate 17. A driver, whose name was not released, was exiting the freeway near Camelback Road when the SUV blewMore >
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers investigated a bizarre crash Sunday on Interstate 17.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:59:38 GMT
Buckeye shooting leaves one dead
Buckeye police are looking for a suspect who shot a tow truck driver early Sunday afternoon and then fled. Officer Tamela Skaggs said the suspect was last seen heading west on MC85. She said the truckMore >
Witnesses said they heard somewhere between four to five gunshots and found a man lying on the side of the road in front of Don Lalo Auto Repair.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:03:47 GMT
Fallen Phoenix Police Detective John Hobbs
Family, friends and the community will gather Monday to honor the Phoenix police detective who died in a gun battle with a fugitive. The Phoenix Police Department announced Wednesday that funeral servicesMore >
Family, friends and the community are gathering to honor and pay their final respects the Phoenix police detective who died in a gun battle with a fugitive.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:04:05 GMT
Reported kidnapping in Phoenix
A woman was kidnapped at gunpoint Saturday evening, Phoenix police said. It happened near 67th Avenue and Coolidge. Officers said she was walking northbound on 67th Avenue when a car came up behind her. PoliceMore >
Police released a grainy video of what they said was a kidnapping on 67th Avenue near Coolidge. The video shows a woman being thrown into a white car Saturday afternoon. More >
A 45-year-old man is dead after a cab struck him in Scottsdale early Sunday morning, police said. The man had left a nearby restaurant before 1:30 a.m. and walked across Scottsdale Road, said ScottsdaleMore >
The man had left a nearby restaurant before 1:30 a.m. and walked across Scottsdale Road, said Scottsdale police Officer David Pubins.More >
Friday, February 28 2014 3:27 AM EST2014-02-28 08:27:54 GMT
On a rainy Monday afternoon, the buzz of air-powered tools rattled through the garage at CSC Lifts, Liners, and Accessories. The experienced hands of Darrell Carmena applied just the right pressure toMore >
A truck, the man of men, holds so many memories for a family. This fitting tribute is a chance to live on through the work, the sweat and the mud.More >