Follow streamflow when storms hit Pima County

Checking the washes with Craig Reck

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Even if the storms miss your side of town, you can still track the rain and where it flows with the help of gauges all over Pima County.

There are close to 130 precipitation and streamflow gauges. Crews from Pima Regional Flood Control District stopped by a few Monday to make sure they’re operational ahead of the upcoming storms.

David Scalero, principal hydrologist, said there are plenty of reasons he's interested in the running water, but most folks should appreciate the impact it has on public safety.

"That gives us the early warning that there could be some flash flooding in this particular area," he said.

For example, levels measured at the gauge near Glenn and Rosemont can help prepare transportation teams for possible road closures at Camino de la Tierra near River Road. If the water's falling fast enough, the gauges could provide just enough time to help first responders anticipate where they'll be needed for swift water rescues.

Scalero said they're always educating visitors and people who have recently relocated to southern Arizona that rain somewhere else in town can still be a danger to you.

"It's not like the east coast, where you have flowing water and that stage just comes up slowly," he said. "These are normally dry and then almost instantly you've got a foot or two of water coming down and that's enough to lift your car if you're coming through a dip section."

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