Workers at a farm saw hundreds of cactuses sweep away in a flood. Drivers on Arizona's main north-south freeway watched in shock as muddy waters submerged the road. Rescuers across the state rushed to save people trapped in cars and homes.
The Phoenix area was battered by torrential rain storms Tuesday that caused severe flooding across the desert region. The National Weather Service said some areas received more rain Tuesday than they had all last summer.
"It looked absolutely devastating," said Gov. Jan Brewer, who was glued to the TV all day watching the rescues. "For the last 10, 15 years, we've never seen anything the likes of this."
A helicopter crew rescued two women and three dogs from a home surrounded by swift-moving waters in a town about 30 miles north of Phoenix, while elsewhere a small trailer park was evacuated, a school was flooded and first-responders pulled motorists from partially submerged vehicles.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for much of the metro area and north of the city, where up to 8 inches of rain fell by midday in some of the mountainous regions along Interstate 17, the main north-south freeway in Arizona.