New River Wash Flowing Like Crazy

Jan 24, 2010

Record rainfall during the past several days has turned many dry washes around Phoenix into raging streams of mud, silt, and water! Check out these photos of New River Wash taken on Saturday afternoon near 83rd Avenue and Union Hills Road.


New River WashThe bridge in the background carries Union Hills Road over the New River wash.

New River WashLoose silt and sand from the riverbed gives the water its chocolate milk-like color.

New River WashThis small drop shows how fast the water is really moving.

New River wash is also fed by Skunk Creek wash, which then flows into the Agua Fria River way out in the West Valley. The entire system is part of the Middle Gila Watershed, which is the main watershed in the Phoenix area.

If you've ever wondered just how much water is flowing past, rest assured that someone is keeping track! The Maricopa County Flood Control District maintains over 300 monitoring stations throughout the area to keep track of rainfall and other weather related data. You can check the reports from the stations by visiting the Flood Control District's website.

One of the monitoring stations is located at 83rd Ave and Bell Road, about 1 mile south of where I took these photos. The New River @ Bell station data shows me that it has recorded 3.58" of precipitation so far this year. The water is currently flowing at a rate of 1,190 cubic feet per second and at a depth of 1.85 feet. The peak flow was 1,430 cubic feet per second and a depth of 2.05 feet! Wow!

Only in Arizona do we get excited enough to blog about it when the rivers and washes actually have water in them!

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