Loeschman: Stay safe in monsoon storms

Monday's monsoon storm was one for the history books. [Submitted photo]

Having moved back to the Valley from Texas in mid-February, I was wondering if I would ever see some significant rain again. Sure, we had a light drizzle now and then but nothing noteworthy in nearly five months.

Matt Loeschman

Then Mother Nature decided to unleash some fury last Monday. That monsoon storm packed a serious punch. Of course, we didn’t have these kinds of storms in Texas with massive walls of blowing dust that can make for some incredible photographs. We were doing our best on Monday afternoon to put the paper to bed in time to get home before the West Valley saw heavy rain and wind.

No such luck. A woman was trying to get a paper from one of our racks and she could barely stand up against the powerful winds. I decided to make a run for my vehicle but got pretty drenched in the process.

When I got home I was riveted to the news coverage of the storm across the entire Valley. Complicating matters further was the fact the storm hit right during the start of evening rush hour.Damage was significant. A roof blew off a motel in Phoenix and debris was strewn across the parking lot. A woman’s car was completely submerged in a flooded canal in Mesa — luckily, she was rescued unharmed by first responders.

Closer to home, there was also damage reported in our neck of the woods (July 11 Daily News-Sun, Page 4). Emergency crews were busy — the Peoria Fire-Medical Department was dispatched to 73 calls on Monday while Sun City crews responded to 39 calls.

We’ve got to be safe in these dangerous storms and one easy way is to stay informed.

Downloading a weather app on your phone or smart device to track storm activity is recommended. Maricopa County residents can also visit ready.maricopa.gov for additional safety updates in real time.

For those of you with smartphones and tablets, Maricopa County’s emergency app is also a valuable resource. Search “Maricopa” in the App Store or Google Play store to find the free download that provides weather alerts, emergency preparedness plans and other important information.

Matt Loeschman is the news editor of the Daily News-Sun.

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