BREAKING NEWS 7 COVID-19 deaths reported in Shasta County for second day in a row Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Man arrested for DUI in crash on Highway 32 Full Story

Rosa's floodwaters trap people in cars in Phoenix

Millions of people unaccustomed to heavy rain were drenched Tuesday by the remnants of Tropical Depression R...

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 8:46 AM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 8:46 AM

Millions of people unaccustomed to heavy rain were drenched Tuesday by the remnants of Tropical Depression Rosa.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix said that city had its eighth-wettest day ever with 2.36 inches of rain.

Accidents, disasters and safety

Natural disasters

Severe weather

Tropical storms



Floods and flooding


Continents and regions

North America

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Weather Service

US Department of Commerce

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government


Environment and natural resources

Landforms and ecosystems


Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Climate change

Energy and environment

Energy and utilities

Sandra Kotzambasis posted a video on Twitter that showed cars driving through north Phoenix with several inches of water covering the road.

"This is what I discovered as I tried to get to work," she wrote. " 'Lake Tatum,' just north of Shea (Boulevard). Needless to say, I am working from home today."

The Arizona Department of Public Safety responded to more than 80 crashes in the metro Phoenix area between 5 a.m. and noon, officials said.

One area of Arizona received 3.64 inches, the weather service said.

The storm had already dumped torrential rainfall on Mexico's Baja California and created a bizarre sight in the desert: flooded roads.

Firefighters had to rescue motorists from their flooded vehicles, CNN affiliate KTVK reported. The Phoenix-based station said at least eight people, including children, were helped from their cars. Video showed one compact car with water almost to the top of the wheel wells and people climbing through windows.

In Scottsdale, about 10 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix, Instagram user John McClean posted a video of water rushing across a road over a curb toward a pond.

Given Arizona's terrain, heavy rainfall poses an unusual set of problems. The National Weather Service's office in Flagstaff warned residents to avoid the state's famous slot canyons and any campsite near creeks.

Forecasters stressed that "just because it's not raining where you are doesn't mean it won't flood."

"Persistent showers and storms in a highly anomalous moist environment will likely lead to localized flash flooding this evening," the national Weather Prediction Center said Tuesday as the storm moved north.

Track the storm

Unusual weather

Historically, it's unusual for the US Southwest to get pummeled by a hurricane or tropical storm. But "these events have begun to increase in recent years," CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.

Research indicates climate change contributes to tropical storms getting "more intense, bigger and longer-lasting, thereby increasing their potential for damage," said Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

While there might not be a direct link between climate change and the recent increase of severe storms in the Southwest, "it is possible that this could be a side effect of climate change," Norman said.

"Warmer oceans are allowing eastern Pacific storms to reach higher latitudes," he said. "This was not the case earlier. It was quite rare for an eastern Pacific storm to even reach Baja California, and this is now becoming more common."

Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 72°
67° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 67°
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
73° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 73°
Red Bluff
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 73°
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 72°
Gusty northeast winds and the potential for morning fog are ahead for the start of your Wednesday. We'll end up sunny and very warm Wednesday afternoon. Dry and warm weather will persist into this weekend, but we finally have a cooling trend and the potential for wet weather returning in your extended forecast.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events