Flash flooding can quickly rain on a hiker's parade
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A pleasant day outdoors in the Sonoran Desert can turn sour quickly during monsoon. Outdoor enthusiasts need to be especially alert this week, experts say.
Rain can lead to flash floods, trapping hikers, campers and bicyclists who are outdoors wanting to enjoy Mother Nature. Recent storms have left the ground in Southern Arizona saturated so the threat of trouble is only increasing, as a little bit of rain can flood washes and canyons.
The National Weather Service issued a warning because of this Wednesday for people visiting Madera Canyon. Flash flooding has stranded hikers in other places like Sabino Canyon in recent years.
“There are very few trails in this area that don't come through or cross some sort of watershed, whether it’s a wash, a canyon or just a low lying area,” said Frank Camp of Summit Hut in Tucson. “Those are water collectors for a lot of reasons. Any of those canyons that go through have been cut and molded by water so you have to think that there’s always that opportunity for water to come through there and very quickly.”
Camp said even though the scariest scenario might be getting swept away, there’s a real possibility of being trapped--cut off from everything when high water rages through. The National Weather Service recommends waiting it out in that situation.
Capt. Adam Goldberg of Northwest Fire District recommends people do their homework before heading out. He said to first check the forecast, know the terrain, bring water and supplies in case you get trapped, and keep your eyes on the sky to watch for bad weather heading your way.