Tonto Creek Crossings Closed

Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Mounting flows in Tonto Creek prompted Gila County to close all three crossings in Tonto Basin Saturday morning, effectively cutting off access to people living on the east side.

The Salt River Project’s daily water report Saturday indicated a flow of 493 cubic feet per second flowing into Lake Roosevelt at Tonto Creek, compared to the normal 15 cubic feet per second. On Friday, Tonto Creek carried just 76 cubic feet per second.

Flood waters have also swollen the Verde River. SRP’s stream gauges showed a flow of 255 cubic feet per second in the Verde at Tangle, compared to a normal flow of 104 cubic feet per second.

The winter storm dumped more than an inch of rain and about 1.5 inches of snow on Payson.

Forecasters say the rain and snow should continue through Saturday evening. On Sunday, the Weather Service forecasts a 30 percent chance of continued rain or snow.

Overnight temperatures should drop to near freezing.

Flagstaff received half an inch or rain and about three inches of snow from Friday to Saturday.

The Pacific storm moved across California, spawning widespread problems and at least three deaths around the state.

As the storm moved on into Arizona, one man in Tucson reportedly drowned in the flooded Santa Cruz River.

Phoenix received record rainfall on Friday and may set another record on Saturday. Floodwaters in Phoenix closed the loop 303 for a time as well.

The storm also affected Nevada, Utah and New Mexico.

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