Two dead in Arizona flooding

Flooding damaged between 100 and 200 houses in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, where few desert-dwellers have flood insurance.

By Frances Burns

PHOENIX, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- At least two women were killed as a record-breaking storm fueled by the remnants of Hurricane Norbert dumped inches of water on much of Arizona.

Both deaths occurred in the Tucson area. One woman died Monday when her car was swept into a wash.


The second woman was with her husband. Both managed to get out of their vehicle, police said, but the 76-year-old wife was unable to get out of the water.

Meteorologists said the storm was worse than the typical monsoon because of Hurricane Norbert.

The National Weather Service posted flash flood warnings Tuesday for much of the Southwest. While the area under threat was smaller than Monday, it included much of northwest Arizona, western Colorado and southern Utah.

In the Phoenix area, where more than 5 inches of rain was recorded in some spots, the storm Monday broke the one-day record of 2.91 inches at Sky Harbor Airport. Flooding closed highways.

In the suburb of Mesa, between 100 and 200 houses were reported damaged by flooding. Mayor Alex Finter, who called the flood "a slow-moving disaster," told the Arizona Republic the massive storm overwhelmed the retention basin and the canals that serve as a backup.


Few of the homeowners, living in a desert, had flood insurance.

"We have 100 to 200 homes that are flooded or have water damage, and no one anticipated needing flood insurance," Finter said. "We realize that this is going to be a situation that won't go away overnight."

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