News Updates

September 8, 2014: Two residents talk in a flooded street after record breaking rains closed streets, highways and schools in Chandler, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

PHOENIX –  The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Phoenix with record rainfall for a single day, turning freeways into small lakes and sending rescuers scrambling to get drivers out of inundated cars.

At least two people died in the flooding, including a woman who was swept away in her car by rushing water and became trapped against a bridge. In addition, a 76-year-old woman drowned in floodwaters.

By Monday evening, floodwaters were threatening up to 100 homes in suburban Mesa after retention basins and channels along the U.S. 60 freeway reached or exceeded capacity, allowing water to flow into some neighborhoods, city officials said.

Crews were working to disconnect power to submerged transformers, provide sandbags to threatened homes and pump water from affected areas. A temporary shelter was being set up at a recreation center for those choosing to voluntarily evacuate.

The flooding was caused by heavy thunderstorms and showers associated with Norbert after it was downgraded to a tropical depression.

Storms also hit Nevada, where 190 people from an Indian reservation were evacuated Monday and officials feared riverbanks could overflow after 4 inches of rain fell in a two-hour period in the small town of Moapa, northeast of Las Vegas.

Erin Neff of the Clark County Regional Flood Control District said authorities were keeping an eye on the Virgin River, which was at 9 feet and floods at 11 feet.