Science

Rosa weaker, but expected to flood Mexico and U.S. Southwest

Rosa weaker, but expected to flood Mexico and U.S. Southwest

The storm moved northward over the weekend and its center is projected to reach Baja California Monday. The soldiers were building flood berms and erecting barriers and sandbags.

Phoenix firefighters rescued at least six people including a small child from vehicles trapped in a flooded intersection caused by rain from the remnants of a tropical storm.

Rains continued in parts of Phoenix on Tuesday night, flooding a portion of State Route 51 northbound near Cactus Road and neighborhood streets in an area west of that freeway and north of Glendale Avenue.

The rescues broadcast on TV Tuesday morning showed firefighters slogging through almost waist-deep water and carrying people one at a time to a firetruck.

In Scottsdale, about 10 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix, Instagram user John McClean posted a video of water rushing across a road over a curb toward a pond.

"This storm still has a punch, it's still risky", David Roth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, told Thomson Reuters. "It just runs off rather than being absorbed by the ground".




The weather service Tuesday said flash flooding was expected after up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain fell in metro Phoenix by midmorning, with more rain expected.

The National Weather Service earlier announced flash flood watches through Wednesday for areas including southern Nevada, southeastern California, southwestern and central Utah and the western two-thirds of Arizona. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert mobilized about 200 National Guard soldiers Monday to prepare for potential flooding south of Salt Lake City. Yuma, Arizona, the USA's driest city with only about 3.6 inches of rainfall a year, could see almost that much in the next couple of days.

Flash flooding began and lasted most of the day throughout areas of the Valley near washes and drains.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, with tropical-force winds extending about 150 miles from its center.

The Civil Defense agency for Mexico's Baja California state said schools were closed Monday in several communities, including the state capital of Mexicali, across the border from Calexico, California; San Felipe, on the northern Sea of Cortez; and south of Ensenada, on the peninsula's Pacific coast. Various Mexican media outlets reported that a woman was swept away by floodwaters and drowned in the city of Caborca, Sonora, on the Sea of Cortez.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Sergio was growing in the Pacific and could become a hurricane Monday, though it posed no immediate threat to land. "Those planning to be outdoors next week should keep an eye on the weather forecast and make contingency plans", the NWS said.


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