Flooding Catches Southwest Residents by Surprise

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Residents of several southwestern states are drying out Wednesday after summer thunderstorms flooded parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah.

Hundreds of people were evacuated and dozens had to be rescued from their cars.

The strong storms came on hard and fast Tuesday in the Southwest. In some areas up to two inches of rain fell per hour.

In Nevada, highways shut down as flash flooding turned roads into rivers. Several motorists had to be rescued by helicopter from the roofs of their cars.

"It came down hard and quick," one Nevada driver recalled. "I don't think anyone was prepared for how bad it was going to be."

Strong currents of water streamed into neighborhoods, flooding not only basements but entire first floors.

"Water just came pouring through the roof!" one homeowner said.

In Southern California, a storm system sat over two towns, Mecca and Thermal, for more than five hours. Both towns received more than their yearly average of rain in only one day.

More than a foot of water was also reported at a mobile home park in the area and 800 people lost power.

Rising flood waters in Utah burst through a dike, sending even more water rushing into neighborhoods. Homes, schools and businesses were all forced to evacuate.

Related Link:

National Weather Service

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