July flood event

Public safety a team effort in response to flood events


On July 10, a rainstorm swept through southern Arizona in the early afternoon and left a wave of destruction resulting in multiple lane closures, flooded streets, stranded motorists, and a train derailment.

Responding quickly to minimize the lasting impact on the community and its citizens, Town of Marana immediately activated the Emergency Operation Center, which placed Marana police officers and Town staff on the ground while answering to a centralized command center located at the Marana Municipal Complex. 

"The Emergency Operation Center is vital to addressing community-wide impacts involving all departments at the Town," said Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema. "We are able to streamline our response units and align our efforts with those of Public Works, Northwest Fire District, and other agencies working on the ground to make sure all possible issues are addressed."

Marana Police Department took the lead, managing emergency phone calls and coordinating road closures with the Public Works Department. As news of more and more water rescues and flooded intersections reached the Emergency Operation Center, Marana Police Department knew they had to bring more people into the field. 

With two patrol squads on board, Marana police officers spread their resources across the community. Altogether, the Emergency Operation Center addressed over ten road closures and nine stranded motorists or swift water rescues. The train derailment added to the complexity of the afternoon, requiring 

"As a police officer, I was ready for anything to happen," said Marana Police Officer Nelson. "I knew people would have questions for me, so I tried to be as informed as possible. There were many tasks that need to be completed, and I feel that we came together for the community to accomplish those tasks very quickly."

Officer Nelson had covered a lot of ground on July 10, assisting to block flooded roadways and communicating with stranded drivers to make sure they were safe. After the Union Pacific train derailed at Twin Peaks Interchange, he stayed at the scene until the Union Pacific security arrived. 

"Multi-tasking is something we have to do as police officers," said Officer Nelson. "Command was very good at organizing where people needed to be."

Lead Police Officer Fane served as Deputy Incident Commander for the southern half of Marana, and worked to coordinate officers and resources responding to the flowing washes and flooding. 

"We were able to adapt because of the quick activation of the Emergency Operations Center," said Fane. "Fortunately most of us have had some experience working through heavy rains and are familiar with which areas of town are impacted the most."

Marana Police worked alongside Northwest Fire Districts for most of the swift water rescues and stranded motorists. 

“Days like July 10th tend to test the capabilities of emergency response services on the grandest of scales," said Northwest Fire Chief Brad Bradly. 'Meeting this and other similar challenges within our community requires the commitment and focus of all agencies and services towards a common mission.  It is with this understanding and through the development of critical relationships over time that allow us to perform as a unified front during difficult situations, ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens.” 

“Emergency response is a team effort and the events of July 10th brought the best out in all of the agencies involved," said Northwest Fire Captain Brian Keeley. " Responders throughout the region worked together, without concern for their own safety, to guarantee the safety of our citizens.  By the end of that day, not a single life had been lost, despite the magnitude of that day’s events, and for us, that is the mission we are called to serve.”

Traffic Alert: Storm Cleanup on Silverbell Road

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START DATE:  07/16/2018                                          

END DATE: 07/20/2018

DAILY START TIME:  6:00:00                                  

DAILY STOP TIME:  19:00:00


PROJECT CONTACT: For questions related to this specific project, please contact Town of Marana Public Works Office at (520) 382-2536.

Travel Impact:  Light delays

Granite Construction will be preforming storm clean up on Silverbell Road between Cantamar Street and Continental Reserve Loop. Traffic may be delayed for a short period of time due to lane closures. Work will continue through this week.

For your safety and that of the contractor’s personnel, please comply with traffic control devices, flagging personnel, and/or detour signs.

Travel time through the project area may increase during construction so please adjust your schedule accordingly. Construction may restrict traffic lanes and create congestion. Taking alternate routes is suggested.

If inclement weather or other events cause delays, the work may be rescheduled without further notice.

Flash Flood Safety Tips

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The National Weather Service has provided some great tips for Flash Flood Safety:

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On average, more people are killed by flooding than by any other single severe weather hazard, including tornadoes, lightning, and hurricanes. Most of these deaths occur at night, when it is more difficult to recognize flood dangers, and when people are trapped in vehicles. Do you and your family know what to do in case of a flood?


  • DO NOT drive onto a flooded roadway.
  • DO NOT drive through flowing water.
  • If you approach a roadway that is flooded, TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN.
  • Drive with extreme caution if roads are even just wet or it is raining. You can lose control of your vehicle if hydroplaning occurs, which is when a layer of water builds up between your tires and the road, causing there to be no direct contact between your vehicle and the road.

If a Flash Flood Warning is issued for your area…

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately! Act quickly to save yourself, you may not have much time.
  • Get out of areas that are subject to flooding and move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters. Low spots such as dips, canyons, and washes are not the places you want to be during flooding!
  • DO NOT camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • DO NOT drive if not necessary. If driving is necessary, do not attempt to drive over a flooded road, as the depth of the water is not always obvious, and the roadway may no longer be intact under the water. Never drive around a barricade, they are placed there for your protection! If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and move to higher ground before water sweeps you and your vehicle away.
  • DO NOT try to walk, swim, or play in flood water. You may not be able to determine if there are holes or submerged debris, or how quickly the water is flowing, and you may be swept away. If water is moving swiftly, as little as 6 inches of water can knock you off of your feet! There is also a danger of hazardous materials polluting the water. Also remember that water is an electrical conductor, if there are power lines down, there is a possibility of electrocution.
  • Always continue to monitor the situation through the National Weather Service website, your NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards, or favorite local television or radio stations.

Why is “Turn Around - Don’t Drown” so important?

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept downstream. Of these, many are preventable.

More flood safety tips can be found on the National Weather Service website

Additional sandbag distribution date set for Friday, July 13

MARANA — Town staff has added Friday, July 13 as an additional day for sandbag distributions. Residents can collect their sandbags from 8 AM - 2:30 PM.

Sandbag distributions will be located at El Rio Open Space (10050 N. Coachline Blvd) and Marana Heritage River Park (12280 N. Heritage Park Drive). Public Works staff will load pre-filled sandbags into the vehicle.

Limit of 10 sandbags per vehicle. In the event of increased weather, additional distribution dates will be added to the schedule. For more information, please contact Public Works at (520)382-2536, or follow the Town of Marana on Facebook and Twitter.

During monsoon, Town of Marana will be regularly handing out sandbags to Marana residents every Tuesday through the end of the rainy season beginning June 19 from 8 AM – 2:30 PM.

"The Public Works Department provides services that are vital to our community’s health, safety, and comfort," said Public Works Director Mo El-Ali. "We provide this service to our community to help keep Marana residents safe."

Marana based animal shelter in dire need after flooding


Hope Animal Shelter opened its doors in Marana in August 2015. Yesterday’s flooding destruction is by far the worst they have seen. Tuesday’s monsoons flooded much of the outdoor facilities and all the rooms in the shelter. The roof is also leaking in many locations.

Town of Marana Animal Services will be collecting donations for the next week. The shelter is in need of cleaning supplies, trash bags, dog and cat food, and general animal supplies.

Donation can be dropped off at the 1st floor reception area of the Marana Municipal Complex at 11555 W Civic Center Drive, or at the Water Department portion of the Marana Operation Center at 5100 W. Ina Road.

Monetary donations can be made through HOPE Animal Shelter. They are also in need of assistance repairing the shelter, outside fencing, sheds, and water lines. If you would like to help repair the shelter, please contact Justin Gallick or Susan Scherl at 520-792-9200 or 520-820-9448.

Marana Storm Guard: Traffic and Flooding Alerts

THe latest:

Updated July 11, 7:20 AM

Heavy congestion on Cortaro at I-10 due to slow moving trains caused by yesterday’s derailment. Please consider using alternate routes.

JULY 10, 2018

Updated July 10, 5:27 PM

Coachline Blvd from Yellow Moon Drive to Twin Peaks Road remains closed.

East side I-10 frontage road between Twin Peaks Road and Avra Valley remains closed due to flooding and train derailment. 24-hour security is on site.

All other Town of Marana roads are open.


Updated July 10, 5:07 PM

Casa Grande Highway at Barnett Road to Tangerine Farms Road is now open. 


Updated July 10, 4:57 PM

Sandario Road north and south to Avra Valley is now open. 


Updated July 10, 4:47 PM

Silverbell Road is now open. Proceed with caution. 


Updated July 10, 4:41 PM

Grier Road and Wentz Road intersection is flooded. Use alternate routes. 


Updated July 10, 4:35 PM

Silverbell Road southbound near Li'l Abner's Steakhouse is down to one lane due to debris. 


Updated July 10, 4:11 PM

Tangerine Road between I-10 and Thornydale is back open, but there is debris in the roadway. Proceed with caution. 

Silverbell Road and the Twin Peaks Interchange is experiencing more than usual traffic flow. Proceed with caution, seek alternate routes. 


Updated: July 10, 4:08 PM

Arizona Department of Transportation to close the frontage road from Twin Peaks to Avra Valley Road. 24-48 hours needed for cleanup. 


Updated: July 10, 4:03 PM

Flood waters near Saguaro Bloom community have receded. One lane of traffic now open due to debris in the road. 


Updated: July 10, 3:31 PM

Water is in the roadways at the following locations. Please avoid these areas: 

  • Casa Grande Highway at Barnett Road to Tangerine Farms Road
  • Coachline Blvd at Windmill park and north of Twin Peaks
  • Avra Valley at Casa Grande Highway west of freeway flooding
  • Twin Peaks Road west and east of Saguaro Bloom community.
  • Linda Vista at Hartman Lane west to Tucson Premium Outlet Mall
  • Sandario Road north and south to Avra Valley.
  • Flooding in the area of Sandario Road and Grier Road. 
  • I-10 Frontage (east side of I-10) between Twin Peaks and Marana Rd will be closed due to a train derailment and flooding. Please use alt routes.

Follow the Town of Marana and Marana Police Department for live updates: