Storms soak southern Arizona

CREATED Jul 21, 2011

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  • Several roads around Tucson were closed due to flooded washes

  • Wednesday night's Tucson Padres game at Kino Stadium was ultimately postponed due to severe weather

Reporter: Ileana Diaz
Web Producer: Layla Tang

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the sun went down Wednesday night, the monsoon fired up, giving southern Arizona one of its strongest storms so far this season.

The monsoon didn't disappoint in Tucson, where showers poured, lightning struck, and thunder boomed.  Many areas around the city reported nearly two inches of rainfall in a period of just several hours.

Several roads were closed Wednesday night due to flooded washes.  On Thursday morning, barricades were still up at several locations, warning drivers not to try crossing the rushing water.

At Kino Stadium, baseball fans experienced another downside to the downpour, where Wednesday night's Tucson Padres was ultimately postponed after a 45-minute delay.
The team will try to make the game up Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The storms seems to sit on top of Cochise County, with Miller Canyon in the Hereford area getting the brunt of it.  Highway 91 had to be closed due to fears that a creek would overflow onto the road.  Flooding has already been a concern for the fire-damaged area; the Monument Fire wiped out much of the vegetation that would normally help prevent flooding and mud slides. Many residents said it only sprinkled near their homes, but within minutes, they could hear water roaring as it came down the mountainside.

"It rained for 20 minutes.  Miller Creek was 10 or 12 feet deep.  It {the water} was coming down only four or five inches deep, but it was coming fast, couldn't get it out of the way," said Miller Canyon resident David Rivera.

The severe weather also held up an intense search for a lost hiker in the Dragoon Mountains.  A Cochise County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told 9 On Your Side they were looking for a 50-year-old San Diego woman since early Wednesday evening.  She was last seen walking with her partner in Cochise Stronghold between Sunsites and Tombstone.  He said the pair became separated when the man went for help.  DPS had been providing air support for the search, but had to ground their efforts when weather conditions became too dangerous.

Not only did Wednesday's monsoon bring a lot of rain, it also brought a dust storm.  A 9 On Your Side news crew encountered clouds of dust on Interstate 10 heading in to Casa Grande in Pinal County.  Officials haven't confirmed whether it was a haboob because that determination requires an aerial view.