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Update: Heavy thunderstorms produce localized flooding in parts of Quad Cities Friday afternoon
Authorities tell residents not to risk driving through flooded streets, roadways

A Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority technical rescue team helps a man from his car in a flooded area near Paulden on Friday, July 23, 2021. (CAFMA/Courtesy)

A Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority technical rescue team helps a man from his car in a flooded area near Paulden on Friday, July 23, 2021. (CAFMA/Courtesy)

UPDATE, Saturday, 8:15 p.m.:


On Sweetwater Road, at the crossing of Big Chino Wash near Highway 89, where Depot 89 gas station is in Paulden, a driver "decided their car could swim." Photo taken with a Mavic Pro drone Saturday, July 24, 2021, at about 7 p.m. (John Carter/Courtesy)

Reader John Carter reported Saturday evening a driver took a chance on a flood, on Sweetwater Road at the crossing of Big Chino Wash near Highway 89 where Depot 89 gas station is in Paulden.

UPDATE, Friday, 4:30 p.m.:

Flooding from a severe monsoon storm early Friday afternoon, July 23, closed Prescott Valley streets in the vicinity of Roundup and Viewpoint drives as well as Robert Road, from Tranquil Boulevard to Highway 89A, the Prescott Valley Police Department reported in the mid-afternoon.

And farther north, Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority crews assisted a stranded motorist in Paulden after their vehicle became stuck in a flooded area.

Law enforcement officials were encouraging residents to avoid flooded areas, especially washes and low-water crossings. PVPD officials added that rather than attempting to drive through low-water crossings, you should turn your vehicles around. People have been known to drown in their vehicles from rising waters, PVPD added.

At about 3 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Flagstaff issued a flash flood warning for Yavapai County.

At 2:10 p.m., NWS officials had stated that Doppler radar showed thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the Quad Cities. Anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in Prescott Valley. An additional quarter to three-fourths of an inch of rain was possible, NWS officials added.

The storm’s ferocity produced life-threatening flash flooding of low-water crossings, creeks, normally dry washes and roads.

Some locations that experienced flash flooding included Prescott Valley, Agua Fria near Dewey-Humboldt, the Yavapai County Fairgrounds and over by the Prescott Valley Event Center, NWS officials said.


Prescott Valley flooding, near Roundup and Viewpoint, on Friday, July 23, 2021. (Town of Prescott Valley/Courtesy)

Heavy rains also caused problems along Highway 69 between mile markers 279 and 292 and on Highway 89A between mile markers 319 and 331.

NWS officials were telling residents to avoid streams and drainages in the Agua Fria River, Winters Wash, Granite Creek, Osborne Spring Wash, Little Chino Valley, Bottleneck Wash, Coyote Wash, Chaparral Gulch, Coyote Spring, Yarber Wash and Lynx Creek.

At around 2:25 p.m. Friday, the NWS tracked a strong thunderstorm 24 miles north of Chino Valley, which was moving south at 20 mph. Penny-size hail and winds in excess of 40 mph were possible.

NWS officials predicted that the storm would remain over primarily rural areas in Yavapai and Coconino counties, including Highway 89 south of Ash Fork.

In Paulden, CAFMA’s technical rescue team was able to assist a driver out of a wash and no injuries reported. Authorities are reminding people to take every precaution necessary in heavy rains and never attempt to drive through any running water.


In the mid-afternoon, Arizona Public Service (APS) reported on its website at that at least 13 power outages had been reported, leaving an estimated 7,100-plus APS customers without power.

Heavy lightning and thunder were visible over Prescott Valley proper for about two hours in the early afternoon, leaving some motorists stranded and roads washed out. The Courier learned of a funnel cloud having formed in the area of Frontier Village.


A funnel cloud begins to drop down in Prescott at Frontier Village, facing northeast, Friday afternoon, July 23, 2021. (Peter Landowski/Courtesy)

At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the NWS in Flagstaff extended its flash flood warning for Yavapai and Coconino counties until 6:30 p.m. That meant potentially life-threatening flash flooding of low-water crossings, creeks, normally dry washes and roads, NWS officials stated.


At 3:25 p.m. Friday, the NWS reported that Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain in Oak Creek Canyon, including in Sedona and Page Springs, where between 0.75 and 1.75 inches of rain fell.

Additional rainfall amounts of half an inch to 1 inch were possible in that area, the NWS added.

Flooding was also possible in Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Middle Verde, Cherry, Verde Village, Bridgeport, Cornville, Cottonwood, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Mcguireville, Lake Montezuma, Montezuma Well, Rimrock, Jerome, and Powell Springs Campground.

NWS officials stated that some locations expected to experience flash flooding included Sedona, Slide Rock State Park, Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge, Junipine Resort, Page Springs, Village at Oak Creek, Red Rock State Park, Manzanita Campground, the West Fork of Oak Creek and Raymond Boy Scout Camp.

Residents were also advised by the NWS to avoid swimming holes in Sycamore Falls, Lower Sycamore Falls (The Golden Pond), Paradise Forks, Pumphouse Wash, Slide Rock, Encinoso, Grasshopper Point, Midgely Bridge, Buddha Beach/Red Rock Crossing, Crescent Moon Ranch and Mormons Crossing.

Highways impacted there included Highway 89A between mile markers 359 and 391; Highway 179 between mile markers 300 and 313; and Interstate 17 between mile markers 300 and 302.

NWS officials reported that streams and drainages with the potential for flash flooding on Friday afternoon included: Turkey Creek, Tule Tank Wash, Sycamore Creek, JD Dam Wash, West Fork Oak Creek, Dry Creek, Spring Creek, Jacks Canyon, the Verde River, Dry Beaver Creek, Volunteer Wash, Coffee Creek, Rarick Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, Oak Creek and Beaver Creek.

At 2:13 p.m., NWS officials reported on Facebook that the flash flood watch for northern Arizona had been extended through Sunday night, July 25.

“Unlike most of the monsoon season, storms will likely persist through the overnight hours, keeping the flood risk high well into the night,” the post stated. “Remember to avoid flood-prone areas like slot canyons, creeks and drainages.”


According to the Prescott Police Department, the area will have more rain through the weekend. The Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Station 53, 8555 Yavapai Road, is offering sandbags. People need to bring their own shovel.

Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Email him at or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

Courier Editor Tim Wiederaenders and reporter Corrina Sisk-Casson contributed to this article.


A major storm has passed through the Prescott area and the Quad Cities, the afternoon of Friday, July 23.

At one point a funnel cloud formed in Prescott at Frontier Village.

Prescott Valley Police reported at about 3 p.m. flooding has closed Roundup/Viewpoint area and Robert Road from Tranquil to Highway 89A.

Police ask pedestrians and drivers to please avoid flooded areas, especially washes and low water crossings.

"Turn Around, Don't Drown!" PVPD stated in an email.

Courier staff is working to find out the extent of the damage; watch and The Daily Courier for details.

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