Catalina State Park gets ready for Monsoon 2023, flash floods

Monsoon 2023 kicks off Thursday
Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 8:59 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Monsoon Awareness Week continues and flash floods are the focus for Thursday, June 15.

You know the saying, “Turn around don’t drown.” Well, it only takes one foot of water for a car to float, two feet of water can carry away most cars.

”Please do not drive around the barricades and do not drive through any kind of flowing water,” Catalina State Park manager Steve Haas said.

There were floods early in 2023 that stranded campers at Catalina State Park. Park rangers say there’s not much that goes into getting things here ready for monsoon.

There are two washes that flood, so rangers give out flyers to let people know what to do if they’re found in a flash flood.

Before the storms start, the park and wash could look dry and easy to cross, and there’s not too much to worry about. But rain, even miles away can make the wash impossible to cross, dangerous and even deadly.

Experts say to always check the weather before you head out and tell someone where you’re going. If you start to see dark clouds it’s time to go.

Remember it doesn’t even need to be raining where you are to cause issues.

“We could get two inches of rain here at the park and nothing happens, but we could get two inches in the headwaters like Saddlebrook, Catalina, Oracle and nothing here but the CDO (Canyon del Oro Wash) runs,” Haas said. “It’s something we can’t really predict but it all depends on how much and where the rain flows.

A bridge is in the works to cross the CDO and all the money is there but it needs to be designed and cleared by different groups before it gets the final green light. It could still take a few years until it’s done.