LIVE STORM BLOG: NWS issues areal flood warning for north-central Pima County; Marana USD buses delayed

Areal flood warning, Aug. 17
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for parts of Pima County. Locations that will experience flooding include Marana, Three Points, Avra Valley, Tucson Estates and Picture Rocks.(KOLD News 13)
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 1:31 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 10:12 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The National Weather Service has issued an areal flood warning for portions of north-central Pima County until 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Locations that will experience flooding include Marana, Three Points, Avra Valley, Tucson Estates and Picture Rocks.

Gage reports indicated elevated flow through the Brawley Wash west of Tucson. A second increase was noted near Three Points. The flood wave is expected to reach the Santa Cruz River in Pinal County by late afternoon. Flooding is already occurring in the warned area.

Drivers are reminded to not enter flooded roadways and people should stay away from river banks and culverts, which can become unstable during floods.

For information about other warnings, click HERE.

Bus routes disrupted in Marana

The Marana Unified School District is telling students and parents that the rain is affecting several bus routes.

According to an MUSD spokesperson, this is primarily affecting schools on the west side, including Marana High School, Marana Middle School, Roadrunner Elementary and Picture Rocks Elementary.

Affected bus routes:

  • 551
  • 552
  • 553
  • 555
  • 556
  • 561
  • 567
  • 570
  • 613
  • 623
  • 624

Affected areas:

  • Anway Rd south of Falcon to Manville Rd
  • Manville west of Sanders
  • Sandario Rd areas south of Picture Rocks
  • Additionally, there are delays on Avra Valley Rd west of Brawley wash
  • Roads in the Roadrunner Elementary School area, impacting routes at Marana High School, Marana Middle School and Roadrunner Elementary.

Families with specific questions are advised to call MUSD Transportation at 520-682-4766.

Lightning sparks house fire

Crews from the Tucson Fire Department responded to a home near Silverbell Road and Sweetwater Drive after reports of a lightning strike causing a fire on Tuesday morning, Aug. 17.

Gaspar Limo says the lightning hit a water heater two houses down from his and sparked a fire.

Limo said the bolt went through another house, traveling to Limo’s and putting a hole in his living room.

“It shook the whole house; it actually woke us up,” Limo said. “But we went back to bed because everything was working. But then we heard the fire engine, woke up and discovered the hole.”

No injuries were reported, and Limo said he is grateful that everyone is safe.

KOLD News 13 has asked the fire department for information about this fire and will update this story as we learn more.

Road Closures In Pima County

Several roads are closed across Pima County. To see an updated list, click HERE.

Swift-water rescue at Camino de la Tierra

On Saturday, Aug. 14, Northwest Fire rescued a woman and her dog at Camino de la Tierra, just south of River Road, around 9 p.m.

Crews from NWFD and Tucson Fire Department were dispatched to the scene at about 8 p.m.

According to information from NWFD, crews could not reach the vehicle by foot because of the depth and speed of the water.

Power lines in the area prohibited a helicopter from assisting with the rescue. Finally, TFD crews were able to extend a ladder far enough to get a life vest and rescue ring to the woman, and they were able to pull her and her dog to safety.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Tucson Police Department also contributed to this rescue effort.

Monsoon 2021 Update

Monsoon 2021 is the third wettest in history with almost a foot of rain already for southern Arizona.

The season doesn’t end until Sept. 30 so we could easily surpass the all-time mark of 13.84 inches set in 1964.

As of Saturday night, we have received 11.30 inches.

Top 5 Wettest Monsoons(Erin Christiansen)
Top 5 Wettest Monsoons(Erin Christiansen)((Erin Christiansen))

Coronado National Forest Closures

The Coronado National Forest on Friday, Aug. 13, announced the temporary closure of some areas ahead of the storms. There have been several instances of hikers getting trapped by floodwaters over the last few weeks.

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

  • Sabino Canyon Road, closed at Bridge 1 upstream of Rattlesnake Canyon
  • Bear Canyon Road at the Sabino Creek crossing

Pusch Ridge Wilderness

  • Pima Canyon Trail
  • Finger Rock Trail
  • Ventana Trail
  • Pontatoc Trail
  • Bear Canyon Trail

Santa Catalina Mountains

  • Control Road
  • Charouleau Gap Road
  • Peppersauce Campground
  • Red Ridge Trail

Keeping Your Pets Safe

The Pima Animal Care Center, already dealing with an overflowing shelter, is offering the following tips to keep pets safe during storms.

  • Upload pet’s photo and profile to Should your pet become lost, you will be notified if your pet would enter a shelter.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Buy a lock or carabiner clip for gates. Wind can easily blow gates open, allowing pets to get out.
  • Check your yard for areas where pets might be able to escape. Patch up any holes in fences. Pets can make small holes much bigger and use them to escape.
  • Make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date. Pet owners can do it for free by going HERE.
  • Place a collar on your pet and include a tag that has up-to-date information. Both can be purchased in the store located in PACC’s lobby.
  • Write your phone number on the collar using a permanent marker.

Tips on reuniting with a lost pet are HERE.

First Alert Forecast

  • TUESDAY: 40% rain/storm chance. Partly cloudy with highs in the low 90s.
  • TUESDAY NIGHT: 20% rain/storm chance. Partly cloudy with lows in the low 70s.
  • WEDNESDAY: 50% rain/storm chance. Partly cloudy with highs in the low 90s.
  • THURSDAY: Mostly sunny with highs in the low 90s.
  • FRIDAY: Mostly sunny with highs in the mid 90s.
  • SATURDAY: Sunny with highs in the mid 90s.
  • SUNDAY: Sunny with highs in the upper 90s.
  • MONDAY: Partly cloudy with highs in the upper 90s.

To see more on the forecast, visit the KOLD weather page.

Monsoon 2021 Gallery

Monsoon 2021 has been one for the record books with both plenty of rain and damage.

While staying safe, we would love to see your weather video and photos. You can share them with us by going to

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