Oro Valley Police Officer Zach Young directs traffic at Oracle Road and First Avenue due to the traffic light malfunctioning after the storm Sunday evening.

J.D. Fitzgerald/Special to the Explorer

The Old Pueblo has been hit with heavy rainfall and high winds over the past few days, with more on the radar. Rural/Metro Fire Department wants to remind everyone to be safe and avoid crossing running washes.

Plan your routes of travel during heavy rainfall to avoid low areas and washes that cross the roadways. Attempting to pass running water of any depth is dangerous; the force of moving water, the sand and debris brought down stream may also impede your vehicle. Road closure barricades are put up for a reason during monsoon season; please obey the traffic laws associated with the closures. At nighttime vehicle headlights will reflect off the water and give a false appearance of depth, in most cases the water is deeper than appearing.

If you are trapped in rushing water, remain calm and with the vehicle. Attempting to step in to swift moving water can send you down river and into a more dangerous situation. Call 911 and the highly trained swift water technicians will come to your aid. Also remember that mountain rains will fill the washes without rain in the valley, so be cautious.

The best practice is to avoid the areas and wait out running water. Taking the time to wait will keep you from needing a rescue or speaking with law enforcement.

Children enjoy playing in puddles after the storms; please make sure they are kept away from rushing water. Storm drains and engineered washes produce high velocity water flows and are extremely dangerous, avoid them and keep the children away from them.

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