Rain Storm Reminder To Prepare For Monsoon

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Wednesday night's storm dropped a half-inch of rain. It was a refreshing break from the weeks of dry weather, but it was also a reminder to Rim Country residents that the monsoon season is right around the corner.

For anyone new to the area, "monsoon" might sound like something that happens in Southeast Asia. But it's a fitting word to describe the walls of rain that drop on Payson in July and August.

The storms build all day as clouds accumulate over the mountains. For hours before it begins, the air is heavy and humid. Then, around 3 p.m. a few drops fall -- bigger raindrops that you have ever seen.

Then the skies open up.

Sheets of water are interrupted by loud thunderclaps.

And for the months of July and August, the afternoons offer a dramatic fireworks display of lightning.

While the monsoon is a beautiful event to watch, it can also be a dangerous one for people who have just moved to the Payson area and might not be prepared.

Because there is so much rain so fast, the ground can't absorb it, turning the Beeline Highway into the Beeline River.

If you are out hiking or on an ATV, flash floods can tear through washes and gullies.

Our advice is to see Wednesday's storm as a reminder to be prepared.

There will be intermittent power outages or surges, rolling brown outs and black outs. Install surge protectors for all electronics.

For the road, be sure your tires have good tread and are properly inflated and that your windshield wipers are in good condition. If the downpour is so heavy that you can't see, pull over to the side of the road. Don't try to drive through it. Turn off your engine and lights but keep your foot on the brake pedal to keep other motorists from running into you.

Buy a flashlight and plenty of batteries. And buy them now so you don't find yourself staring at an empty store shelf when the monsoon actually arrives. Once you are prepared, sit back, open the curtains and enjoy the show.

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