911 calls show dangers of driving through flooded areas during monsoon

911 calls show dangers of driving through flooded areas during monsoon
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Since monsoon 2016 began on June 15, Tucson has been hit with a lot of severe weather.

In June alone, Pima County saw more than an inch and a half of rain. The run-off filled several washes, some three to five feet deep.

On June 26, the Tucson Fire Department made seven swift water rescues in less than six hours.

"On Sunday it was a busy night. The monsoon had come in," said firefighter Mario Carasco with the Tucson Fire Department.

Carasco's crew was on their way to another swift water rescue when they saw a car stopped in a wash on Ninth Avenue and Lee Street near downtown.

"We were actually going to another call when one of the drivers spotted headlights in one of the washes that we passed," he said. "That's how quickly it turned. We made a U-turn and it [the water] went two blocks down."

A family of four were in the car and could be heard on their 911 phone call screaming for help.

[READ: Fire crews rescue family trapped in vehicle]

Carasco and his crew got to the family in time and saved them from the flood waters.

Another driver, who got stuck in several feet of water, said other motorists saw her stalled and decided to take the chance and drive around her.

"There are other vehicles around me, but they're able to make it though," she told the dispatcher. "They are still driving through the water. Everyone is going around me."

So far this year, the monsoon has not claimed any lives, but still firefighters want to remind drivers to make the smart choice…when in doubt wait it out.

TFD firefighters train for swift water rescues a couple times a year, but you don't want to find yourself on the other end of those 911 calls.

If you do, it could not only cost you your life, but it could also cost you money thanks to the "Stupid Motorist's Law."

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