HEAVY RAIN AND flash floods have caused chaos in the usually bone-dry region surrounding the city of Phoenix, Arizona in the last 48 hours.
Helicopter crews were forced to rescue two women and three dogs from a home surrounded by swift-moving waters in a town about 30 miles north of Phoenix.
Elsewhere, a small trailer park was evacuated, a school was flooded and emergency services pulled motorists from partially submerged vehicles.
In another dramatic rescue, authorities pulled an elderly woman from a van stuck in rushing flood waters, a scene repeated across the region throughout the day as other motorists became trapped.
Officials said nearly 5 inches of rain fell around the town of New River, where a helicopter dropped two rescuers onto the roof of a home where someone inside had been waving a white piece of fabric from a window to draw attention.
The rescuers later walked the women and dogs to safety as the water receded.
“It’s crazy. You’d think, how could the desert flood, but it really does,” said local woman Kathy Mascaro.
“I’ve never seen it this bad. I’ve been here over 20 years and it has never flooded this bad.”
See for yourself:
Additional reporting from Associated Press.