LIVE STORM BLOG: Pima County spared from major flooding, but rescue abound

First responders were called to the Pantano Wash at Harrison Road for a swift-water rescue on...
While most of the Tucson area avoided heavy flooding this weekend, several rescues had to be made across Pima County.(KOLD News 13)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:26 AM MST|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 12:53 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While most of the Tucson area avoided heavy flooding this weekend, several rescues were made across Pima County.

In just three days this weekend, the Tucson area received over 2.50 inches of rain, which brings this year’s monsoon total to 4.45 inches.

During the 2020 season, Tucson received only 1.62 inches.

Raging Rillito River

The Rillito River on Sunday was unlike anything seen in recent years.

At Craycroft and Swan, hundreds of residents walked around the Loop to get a look at the river.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department responded to a rescue call at Craycoft Sunday afternoon.

Two kayakers needed help, but the PCSD said there were no injuries and both were brought back to shore.

Rural Metro and Tucson Fire were also seen at the scene.

Please do not recreate in the flooded washes. It is incredibly dangerous. Pima County Search and Rescue Deputies just...

Posted by Pima County Sheriff's Department on Sunday, July 25, 2021

Catalina Highway Rockslide

The rain also did a number to Catalina Highway, the road to Mount Lemmon, on Sunday.

According to the PCSD, rocks were on the road near milepost 4 and the highway was down to one lane in the area.

There was a rockslide on Catalina Highway near milepost 4 on Sunday, June 25.
There was a rockslide on Catalina Highway near milepost 4 on Sunday, June 25.(Pima County Sheriff's Department)

Stranded Hikers in Sabino Canyon

Pima County Search and Rescue was called to save several hikers who had become stranded after trails became flooded in Sabino Canyon Saturday night.

Rescue deputies recommend avoiding trails with water crossings because shallow water can quickly become impassable.

Body of Missing Graham County Child Found

The body of the 4-year-old girl who went missing during a severe storm in Pima, Arizona, has been found. The girl disappeared late Thursday night after she was washed away by floodwaters.

Her body was recovered on Monday.

The southern Arizona community had set up a Facebook group to aid in the search. According to the posts, her name was Maci.

Just some of the efforts by the community are: volunteering to aid in the search, donating equipment (kayaks, panchos and wet suits), collecting pictures and messages for the family and opening a cafe for the searchers.

According to the Pima Police Department, a woman and her children were stranded in their vehicle in the Cottonwood Wash. The family was on the roof of the vehicle when it was pushed downstream.

Rescuers were able to save everyone except for a 4-year-old child.

Multiple agencies searched for the child, including Graham County Sheriff’s Office, Graham County Search and Rescue, Cochise County Search and Rescue, Thatcher Police Department, Safford Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and LifeNet and Air Vac Helicopters.

Missing Teen Near Cottonwood

On Monday, crews are still searching for a 16-year-old girl who was swept away by floodwaters near Cottonwood, Arizona, Saturday night.

The Verde Valley Fire District said the girl’s name is Faith Moore.

Fire officials said they are thankful for volunteer efforts, adding that much of the community has stepped in to help locate the girl.

Faith is the granddaughter of the recently retired Fire Chief from the Verde Valley Fire District and the retired EMS Chief from Verde Valley Ambulance, also the niece of an active Cottonwood Firefighter.

Verde Valley fire, along with Cottonwood fire and police, were dispatched around 9:40 p.m. to a low river crossing area. While crews attempted to rescue Moore, she was swept downstream.

Mess In Green Valley

The Green Valley area took a real beating when the storms passed through Thursday night.

At least 3,000 people were left without power, but TEP crews worked hard to restore the grid.

For Green Valley residents, TEP handed out ice starting at the Safeway on West Continental Road.

Crews from the Green Valley and Drexel Heights fire districts were also hard at work rescuing people and clearing the road.

AMAZING! This is what Green Valley Fire District and Drexel Heights Fire District crews had to deal with after the...

Posted by KOLD News 13 on Friday, July 23, 2021

Sky 13 Surveys Flooding

We launched Sky 13 to check out the flooding in the Marana area Friday afternoon.

We checked out the CDO Wash near La Cholla and Hartman Road near Cortaro. On Hartman, motorists could be seen going around the barries to get through the flooded road.

Wildlife Deal With Flooding

It wasn’t just humans fighting Mother Nature during the storms.

Daniel Juarez spotted some javelina having trouble on the banks of the Rillito River in Tucson early Friday, July 23.

In Show Low, the storms knocked down several fences leading to a herd of cattle on the road.

ONLY IN ARIZONA: The Show Low Police Department shared photos of cattle that escaped during storms there. "Flood control, fence-mending and herding cattle ... all in a day's work for our officers at SLPD."

Posted by KOLD News 13 on Friday, July 23, 2021

East Andrada Road Destroyed

A portion of East Andrada Road near Vail was destroyed by floods Thursday night. A car also got washed away, but the people inside were able to escape safely.

If you see more damage, please email us at or upload video/photos at

LOOK AT THIS! A portion of East Andrada Road, just south of Vail, got destroyed by a wall of water during storms. A car was washed away too, but the people inside were able to escape. (Source: Sean O'Mordha)

Posted by KOLD News 13 on Friday, July 23, 2021

Road Closures

Several roads in Pima County were still closed Monday due to debris and damage.

You can see an updated list of closures by going HERE.

Authorities and first responders are asking residents to stay off the road, if possible. If you must drive, please remember to avoid flooded roads and give yourself more time to arrive safely.

While Arizona does have a “Stupid Motorist Law,” it is rarely enforced.

Swift-Water Rescues

The Northwest Fire District crews were called to Avra Valley Road and Sandario Road Sunday for a swift water rescue.

The driver of the vehicle was helped to safety and there were no reported injuries.

Tucson Fire Department, Avra Valley Fire Department, and Marana Police Department were also a part of the rescue.

TFD had earlier reported its crews already rescued 11 people, two dogs and two cats in swift-water emergencies Thursday night.

In one rescue, a driver was rescued from a pickup that became stranded in a wash at Escalante Road and Sarnoff Drive on the east side.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Fire District pulled two people from the Rillito Friday morning.

No additional information was immediately available regarding the conditions of those who were rescued.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was called to the Rillito early Friday morning to search for a man and woman who were reportedly caught in a flash flood near La Cañada.

PCSD later confirmed the two were rescued by Northwest Fire District.

A van got stuck on Manville Road in Picture Rocks early Friday, July 23.
A van got stuck on Manville Road in Picture Rocks early Friday, July 23.(Jason Shumsky)

Storm Video And Photos

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