Saturday, September 17, 2011

And the Rains Came

Just when the monsoon season was winding down, a batch of storms moved through this week that made this the rainiest September on record. It rained four days in a row this week with 2.84 inches of rain falling on Thursday alone. When you measure rainfall in hundredths of an inch, this is a big deal.

The Santa Cruz River, which is usually mostly dry this far south, became a raging torrent.

Of course, there were the usual number of water rescues. Despite the "dumb motorist law," which fines anyone who enters a flood area despite warning signs, there are always those who try to cross a wash or a flooded intersection.

This time, there was also a man lost to the flooding. Somehow he wound up clinging to a bridge stanchion in the Santa Cruz. He was swept away before police and fire could get to him. They positioned themselves on several bridges over the river trying to spot him. The explanation was that this way they could see the whole width, while standing on the bank would only allow them to see one side. As far as I know, his body hasn't been found yet.

In sections of town, homes and businesses were flooded, as well as part of one campus of Pima Community College.

The water drains pretty rapidly in Tucson. The desert sucks it up in a matter of hours. By the time I left work on Thursday, the streets were almost dry. The weeds, however, are having a field day. And there are mushrooms sprouting in the lawn in the park across the street. It's amazing how much growth happens in a short period of time following rain here. The Sonoran Desert is amazingly green.

This was probably the end of the 2011 monsoon season. Now we enter the time of year with the weather that brings retirees to Tucson. Temperatures will drop to the eighties, then the seventies, the skies are huge, blue backdrops for the mountains, and the sun shines all the time. I can't wait.

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Photos from the Arizona Daily Star can be seen here.
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