PHOTOS: Major flooding in Phoenix, USA, 81-year-old rainfall record broken
Heavy storms pounded the Phoenix area early today, flooding major freeways and small roads, leading to several water rescues and breaking an 81-year-old rainfall record before dawn.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for most of the Phoenix area and its outskirts through late Monday morning because of heavy thunderstorms and rain.
Flash flood watches cover most of the rest of Arizona.
Sections of the major commuter freeways Interstate 10 and 17 in west Phoenix were closed in the run up to rush hour.
Television video of I-10 showed at least a half-dozen vehicles sitting in water up to their hoods, while dozens of other motorists parked part way up on the freeway's side embankment to stay clear of the water.
The state Department of Public Safety asked drivers to postpone their commute.
Freeways at several underpasses resembled small lakes as the Arizona Department of Transportation said its pumping stations couldn't keep up with the downfall.
In central Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport received over 2.55 inches of rain since midnight, breaking the old record of 1.33 inches on the same date in 1933. More than 2 inches of rain fell after 4 a.m., just as the morning commute was beginning.
Rainfall amounts in at least two Phoenix suburbs topped 4 inches.
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