Gila County Division of Health and Community Services and APS have both issued cautions for the monsoon season.
While monsoon storms will bring much needed rain, they also can bring the risk of flash floods. Flash floods can be produced when slow-moving or multiple thunderstorms occur over the same area. Flooding can also be caused by rain falling several miles upstream and moving downstream rapidly.
The county recommends the following simple tips to protect yourself:
- Don't drive if you don't have to. Almost half of all flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles.
- Never drive through flooded roadways. As little as six inches of water may cause the loss of control of a vehicle and two feet of rapidly moving water can sweep a vehicle downstream.
Many people enjoy hiking, fishing and camping along streams and rivers, in canyons, washes and low-lying areas. Avoid these spots during monsoon season. The weather may be fine where you are, but upstream there could be a storm and the runoff will come downstream.
Another hazard can be created by the wind. Dead or loose branches can be knocked out of the trees by strong winds that accompany the monsoon storms. Check the trees around your home and take down the branches that might fall in a storm, damaging your home or your vehicle on the road by your property.
Since the monsoon storms come with lots of lightning, APS offers the following steps to take before and during an outage:
First things first
- When your power goes off, check your neighborhood. If you are the only one without power, check to see if a fuse is blown or the main circuit breaker has tripped.
- If you don't find a problem there, look outside at the service wire connected to your house. If it is down, don't go near it since it may be charged with electricity. Instead, immediately call APS at (602) 371-7171 or (800) 253-9405, or your local fire department.
If other homes in your neighborhood are without power, notify APS. If you can't get through, chances are many other people are calling us and our switchboard is busy. Please continue trying until you get an answer.
When you call, APS will need your name, address, phone number, how long your power has been off and your APS account number (if available).
During an outage
During any power interruption, immediately turn off or disconnect all major appliances (air-conditioner, dryer, washer, dishwasher, range). Also, disconnect any heavy-duty motors, such as pool pumps or water heaters.
Wait at least one minute after the power is restored before turning back on all equipment.