When They Say Flash Flood Warning…

They’re not kidding!

Okay, so I’ll eat my words.

Wash Flowing at 12:00 PMRight after my last post, when I claimed it would take at least an hour to get the wash flowing, the wash started to flow. It was a trickle at first — as it usually is — but by the time I went down to fetch the horses five minutes after this photo was taken, I had to walk through flowing water to reach them.

Wash FlowingIt was raining like hell at the time and I was wearing gym shorts with a rain jacket. I was dry from the waist up and soaking wet from the waist down. My legs were covered with the junk that had been floating in the water I had to wade through. I took this shot after going back up to the house for my camera. Here’s where the horses had been taking shelter from the rain. All that brownish gunk is floodwater with standing waves.

Wash Flowing at 12:35 PMA half hour after taking the first photo, I snapped this second one. It’s the same view plus a ton of muddy flowing water. The wash is flowing dangerously fast. In fact, anyone stupid enough to walk or drive into it would be swept away — as our garbage pails, neighbor’s fence, and horse feeders were. Those are drawbacks of having occasional waterfront property.

Wash FlowingIt got scary for a while. My neighbor’s horses live about 4 feet above the flood plain. But the water started making its way in. Soon, three of them were standing in about a foot of water. There was no one on that side of the wash to rescue them and I couldn’t cross over. Fortunately, they stayed calm. The water started to recede not long after I realized the danger.

As I type this, my neighbor is trying to rebuild his road with a Bobcat he has just for that purpose. I’m wondering how much fence is blocking the driveway under all that shifted sand and muck. Three Phoenix news helicopters are operating over town, video taping the receding floods. I’m starting to wonder why I’m not out there with them, getting a good view from my own helicopter.

It’s only 2:30 PM…maybe I will take a little flight…

6 thoughts on “When They Say Flash Flood Warning…

  1. Hi Maria,

    I see that you couldn’t resist..spotted you at 16:26 local, turning up the Hassayampa.

    Personally, I was stuck on the wrong side of Cemetary wash this afternoon at Turtleback, by the flow. If you or your neighbors are missing 2-fifty gallon blue plastic drums, they floated by us and are probably down at Morristown by now.


  2. No, I couldn’t resist. I wish I’d gone out about an hour earlier. Unfortunately, like you, I was on the wrong side of the wash and trapped at my home until the flow subsided.

    The blue drums were my neighbor’s “barrels” for barrel racing practice. She had three of them.

    Her husband just recovered our 2 Sickles garbage pails about a mile down the wash.

    Our two plastic horse feeders — home made from drums, so not a bag deal — were also lost.

    The two new homes at the far end of Ocotillo have a serious problem — their road up the hill washed out at the base and unless they have a vehicle capable of climbing a 3-foot curb, they won’t be driving up to their homes anytime soon.

    Our fence was completely destroyed. Looks like our horses will be living in smaller quarters until we get the fence guy back — but not until after monsoon season.

    Gotta love the excitement!

  3. Dear Sir,

    Please help me find documentary viewed on television between 1999 and 2004.

    I am involved in developing a research project on helicopter deployment and performance during rescue operations.

    I was certain that the video, I am speaking of showed the rescuer catching up with the victim in the torrent as they are being swept along in the current. However I would appreciate all of the accurate information you have as, after I do confirm I have the one I want, I will get back and collect up the others as I can use these.

    I am in search of the agency where the rescue was from. I am also looking to acquire a copy of the documentary. Any information you can give me on this will be very much appreciated.

    Best regards,


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