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Down One Pump, I-17 Flooding Caused By Too Much Water With Nowhere To Go

Interstate 17 flooding
Arizona Department of Transportation/Twitter
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editorial | staff
A photo from Indian School 17 and Indian School Road in Phoenix, where floodwater closed the highway in both directions during a storm.

Tuesday’s storms caused major flooding in many parts of the Phoenix metro. 

That was evident when part of the I-17 at Indian School was shut down for several hours after three inches of rain fell in the area in less than half an hour. 

Steve Elliot with the Arizona Department of Transportation said there are usually four active pumps to prevent flooding problems. But that was not the case last night. 

“One of those pumps was offline for critically-needed repairs,” he said. “Three of the other pumps were active, but they simply couldn’t keep up with the deluge of water and they overheated.” 

Elliot said that it wasn’t an issue of one of the pumps being down, it was more an issue with so much water that had nowhere to go.