The Latest: Water level at Arizona dam receding
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on heavy rain in the U.S. Southwest from the remnants of Tropical Storm Rosa (all times local):
The water level at a southern Arizona lake is receding after officials said a dam had been at risk of failing and flooding a small tribal village.
Tohono O’odham (TOH’-oh-no OH’-tum) Nation spokesman Matt Smith said Wednesday that the water level at Menagers Dam had fallen about 4 feet (1.2 meters).
Earlier in the day, runoff from rain dropped by the remnants of Hurricane Rosa had lifted the water level to just a foot (0.3 meters) below the top of the earthen dam.
Isolated areas near the dam have seen 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 centimeters) of rain over the past three days.
The tribe had been coordinating the evacuation of Ali Chuk, a Native American community with 162 people.
Forecasters are warning of the possibility of more flooding in the Phoenix area and elsewhere in Arizona from runoff from remnants of a former tropical storm that dropped a record amount of rain in the city.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday said up to 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain had already fallen in the parts of the county that includes Phoenix and that flash flooding was expected.
A separate flash flood warning was issued for Yavapai County north of Phoenix due to high water flow in a creek in the small community of Cornville and for a small part of the Tohono O’odham (TOH’-oh-no OH’-tum) Nation’s reservation in Pima County in southern Arizona.
A flash flood watch issued for much of south-central Arizona was extended through Wednesday afternoon.
The weather service said 2.35 inches (6 centimeters) of rain had been recorded at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as of Tuesday night.
Authorities are warning that an earthen dam in Arizona’s southern desert could fail because the lake behind it is swollen with storm runoff from the remnants of Tropical Storm Rosa and that residents of a small community nearby were being evacuated.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday said water levels were within 1 foot (0.3 meters) of overtopping Menagers Dam and that it could give way and flood the community of Ali Chuk on the Tohono O’odham (TOH’-oh-no OH’-tum) Nation’s reservation west of Tucson.
The tribe’s Department of Public Safety said Tuesday night in a statement that flooding from runoff made roads impassable in the area on Tuesday and tribal officials were working to evacuate residents.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that the community has a U.S. Census-reported population of 162 and that the area got between 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain on Monday.
The tribal department’s statement said officials evacuated more than 30 people from a village elsewhere on the reservation because of flooding.
Remnants of a tropical storm dropped a record amount of rain on Phoenix.
National Weather Service meteorologists say 2.35 inches (5.97 centimeters) of rain had been recorded at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as of Tuesday night.
That made it the rainiest October day since records have been kept, topping the 2.32 inches (5.89 centimeters) recorded on Oct. 14, 1988.
It also marked the eighth-rainiest day in Phoenix’s history for any date.
That surpassed the total amount of rainfall recorded at the Phoenix airport during the entire Arizona monsoon season this year that runs annually from mid-June to the end of September.
The storm was expected to move out of Arizona by Wednesday afternoon and bring rain to Utah and Colorado.