AUGUST 14, 2013

MCDOT crews are ready for monsoon season

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PHOENIX – The rain is coming and Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has crews on standby alert throughout our unpredictable monsoon season to respond to downed traffic signals or emergency roadway closures caused by electrical storms and flooding. One major summer storm can result in over 275 trouble calls to the MCDOT radio dispatch, but with strategic preparation and training, MCDOT crews are quickly deployed and onsite setting up life-saving barricades and flashing lights at flooded roadways and swollen wash crossings.

Being prepared for heavy summer storms is a complicated operation. When a storm is on the way, the MCDOT radio dispatch center is placed on emergency response status and trucks are assigned and loaded. Coordination begins among field supervisors, crews, dispatchers and the Flood Control District’s ALERT center. All are poised and ready to respond to roadway hazards and traffic emergencies as soon as a call comes in.

Adding to the complexity is that, depending on the weather, there may be a second or third storm before a full recovery from the first storm can occur. Even with all the best preparation it can take days, even weeks to fully recover from roadway storm damage, especially in outlying areas of the county.

“MCDOT is committed to ensuring the safety of our traveling public 365 days a year, day or night,” said Andy Kunasek, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “Remember to call our Road Hazard Hotline if you see trouble. And please, be prudent. Don’t risk crossing flooded washes. Even though it may appear to be running only a few inches deep, the roadway may have been undermined and washed away, making the crossing much deeper than it appears.”

MCDOT Safe Driving Tips:
Flooded Roadways and Washes
•Don’t Risk It!
•Never cross a rain-swollen wash
•Do not drive around roadway barriers
• Never underestimate the power and force of water
• A vehicle is NOT a flotation device!
Inoperative Traffic Light/Power Outage
• Treat the intersection just like a four-way STOP!

MCDOT Road Hazard Hotline: 602-506-6063

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