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Drivers face dangerous driving conditions in North Yuma County during flash flood

Rushing water brought drivers along U.S. 95 to a halt - News 11's Arlette Yousif was among them

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - When flash floods strike the Desert Southwest, they strike with a vengeance. Shutting down roads like Highway 95 close to Yuma Proving Ground.

Dangerous driving conditions just north of Yuma County swept a tanker truck off its wheels and onto its side Sunday.

"Remain where you're at and eventually the water will subside. The other option is to turn around and go back to the opposite direction and then use an appropriate detour," says DPS Sgt. Jimmy Chavez.

Sgt. Chavez says even just a few inches of water can do a large amount of damage.

While the driver of the tanker is not injured, not everyone survives the force of the water. Unfortunately, this rings true for four-year-old flood victim Maci Reed of Pima County, whose body was found around 7:30 Monday morning.

And another victim, 16-year-old Faith Moore, was swept by the dangerous waters in the Verde Valley area. Moore was calling for help when the water pulled her in. The search is still ongoing as of Monday.

"Six inches of moving water can take an adult off their feet. 12 inches can move a small vehicle," explains Yuma Fire Department Public Information Officer Mike Erfert.

Many people parked their cars on the road with the engines off. Yuma local Ivan Corona was one of them.

"We were able to go across a few of the washes that were kind of starting to overflow the road. They were still low, but then we got to a larger one and we saw that there was quite a bit of water coming down the wash and there was cars backed up on both sides of that wash," says Yuma local Ivan Corona.

I was also stuck on the 95 as I was heading back into Yuma. People were standing outside and even walking on the highway. Eventually, we made it through.

Sgt. Chavez says he wants to remind Arizonans that there is a law is in place making drivers liable for emergency responses in flood areas. A.R.S. 28-910 means that anyone who attempts to cross a closed or flooded road and needs to be rescued can be financially responsible for the cost of that rescue.

U.S. Highway 95 has since reopened. However, more rain headed to the area, it's possible it could happen again.

Imperial County / Top Stories / weather headlines
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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

You can reach out to Arlette for at arlette.yousif@kecytv.com.

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