Monday's record rainfall in the Phoenix area spurred officials to warn parents against letting their kids play in standing water.
But with many schools closed across the Valley 'cause of the historic deluge, what else is there to do?
At Harmony Park in Mesa near Val Vista Drive and the U.S 60 freeway, which experienced some of the Valley's worst flooding, a group of happy Mesa High School students exchanged textbooks for rowboats and spent the morning splashing around.
The park, just east of the Consolidated Canal and north of the U.S 60 freeway, also serves as a water-retention basin. Neighbors who came out to watch and photograph the teens said they've never seen anything like the lake that appeared suddenly this morning. It appeared to be several-feet deep in places.
Near the concrete-lined canal, a smaller, flood-control canal had blown out and water was still rushing into the basin at about 10 a.m. The area around the U.S. 60 and Val Vista was one of the worst-hit in the Valley for flooding, with excessive water blocking traffic earlier in the morning on the freeway. The freeway lanes were open when we showed up, but mini-lakes of water stood in various places in the neighborhood. New Times put in a call to the city of Mesa to find out why that area wasn't draining effectively; we'll update this post when we hear back.
Just east of Val Vista, homes and an apartment complex at 37th Street and Hampton Avenue had been hammered by flooding. One car was stuck in the middle of 37th Street. But New Times couldn't find any homeowners who reported serious damage to their property. We did, however, run into folks who were enjoying a break in the rain to get out and survey the scene.
"This is a lot of water!" gushed Glenn Talbott, standing on a corner in six inches of water with his dog, Loretta.
"This is the worst I've ever seen it," said another neighbor who's lived in the area for 25 years. He and other homeowners on 37th Street, which was completely covered by several inches of water for about a block, reported that the water hadn't quite risen enough to enter their homes.
Two children playing with their dog in the water on 37th Street told New Times their father had gone to work after cleaning up some flooding in their garage.
While children and teens made the best of the freak weather situation, some Valley residents and businesses were struggling with flooded vehicles or homes. The Fry's food store at McClintock Drive and Baseline Road was closed for the day after a roof caved in. Workers stepped through puddles in the stores on Monday morning as they carried various goods to dry locations.
More rain was expected on Monday afternoon, though not as much as in the morning.
UPDATE: 5 p.m. -- The floodwaters kept growing after we left the area. An hour ago, the Mesa Fire Department reported that transformers were under water in a retention basis, possibly the same one or near the one we visited, and that evacuations were being ordered.
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