Severe weather brought heavy rain, thunder, lightning and strong winds to the Valley early Monday morning.
The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning that was in effect until 4:45 a.m. The agency later extended it to 6:30 a.m., and then again until 10:30 a.m.
Rain gauges across the Phoenix area indicated as much as 1 to 3 inches of rain has fallen in some areas.
The official rainfall total at Sky Harbor International Airport was more than 3 inches and increasing at 9 a.m., shattering the old daily record of 1.33 inches. That is an all-time record for rain in a single day at Sky Harbor.
“We’re looking at a historic day of flooding out there,” 3TV meteorologist April Warnecke said.
Less than 24 hours ago, the Valley was well behind on its year-to-day rainfall. With Monday’s storm, we have not only caught up, we are now officially ahead, and the rain continues to come down.
Flash flooding has been observed throughout the Valley metro area, including on several freeways.
Interstate 10 and 43rd Avenue was one of the worst sites. The water was so high, dozens of drivers were forced to abandon their cars. Water was up to the brake lights on many of those vehicles.
State Route 51 flooded where the freeway dips below the Cactus Road underpass. Traffic in both directions was forced off the freeway, but allowed to re-enter both north and south of Cactus Road.
The Superstition Freeway was flooded at Val Vista Drive with water up to the hoods of some vehicles, according to Public Information Officer Raul Garcia with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service were reporting thousands of homes and businesses without electricity due to the weather. The outages were from San Tan Valley to northwest Phoenix.
In addition to numerous school delays and closures, some government offices were advising people to postpone visits if possible.
“Due to the widespread flooding issues throughout the Phoenix metro area, the Department of Economic Security is requesting consumers delay visits to DES offices until further notice,” read an email sent to the 3TV and azfamily.com newsroom. “In the meantime, services can be accessed through the DES website at http://www.azdes.gov.”
More heavy rainfall is likely early Monday morning.