- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on flash flooding in Arizona (all times local):

10 p.m.

Flash flooding snarled rush hour traffic in Phoenix, while the heavy monsoon rains also inundated roadways in the Tucson area and prompted the evacuation of two high schools as a precaution.

Officials say Tuesday’s flooding closed numerous roads and stranded drivers, prompting water rescues in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department ordered the Vail School District to evacuate students at Pantano and Andrada Polytechnic high schools as a preventative measure.

Officials said Interstate 17 in Phoenix was closed at Indian School Road after the interchange flooding. The southbound lanes reopened later, but the Department of Transportation said about 10 p.m. that the northbound lanes would remain closed as crews worked to remove flood waters.

So much rainfall had fallen in a short span of time - up to 2 inches in one hour in central Phoenix - that the National Weather Service was referring to the storm as a 100-year event, meaning that amount of rainfall has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year, in a specific location, according to a report on the Arizona Republic website.

8 p.m.

The Phoenix Fire Department has made a number of water rescues as parts of Arizona sees heavy rains that has spark flooding and snarled traffic.

Officials said Tuesday firefighters rescued a man sitting on top of his vehicle along Interstate 17 and helped another man out of his car at another location.

Flooding closed Interstate 17 in both directions at Indian School Road in Phoenix and traffic throughout Arizona’s largest city slowed to a trickle as some roadways became streams.

The National Weather Service says storms would into the East Valley and warned driver to stay off roads.

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6:45 p.m.

Officials say flooding has closed Interstate 17 in both directions at Indian School Road in Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said Tuesday there was no estimate of when the highway will reopen.

The National Weather Service says there are reports of flooding from Carefree to central Phoenix

Parts of Arizona, including New River and Cave Creek, remain under a Flash Flood Warning.

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Noon

People in at least a half-dozen vehicles stranded by running water along a flooded road on Tucson’s southeastern outskirts were given rides to safety on fire trucks.

Corona de Tucson Fire Department Capt. Todd Cupell says emergency personnel from several agencies led dozens of other vehicles out of flooded areas along a nine-mile stretch of Houghton Road south of Interstate 10 Tuesday monring.

According to Cupell, the road wasn’t barricaded before the motorists got into trouble when water up to 3 feet deep began to cover parts of the road.

Cupell says there were no injuries from the flooding.

The National Weather Service reports that 1 to 2 inches of rain fell Tuesday morning in some parts of southeastern Arizona, causing significant runoff and flooding.

9:30 a.m.

Firefighters rescued a driver after her car got stuck in rushing water in a flooded low-lying area of a road on Tucson’s outskirts.

Capt. Brian Kelsey of Northwest Fire District says the woman wasn’t injured and was stuck about 15 minutes in her car. Kelsey says the stretch of road that flooded wasn’t barricaded because water from storm runoff rose very rapidly.

Kelsey says a foot or two of water spun the woman’s car but it ended up on a safe spot and that the water then receded.

Flash flood watches are in effect for Tucson’s outskirts and much of southeastern and eastern Arizona due to monsoon rain and thunderstorms, and the National Weather Service says some areas near Tucson received about an inch of rain Tuesday morning.

7:50 a.m.

Flash flood watches have been issued for much of eastern Arizona due to forecast rain and thunderstorms from monsoon activity.

The watches cover much of Apache and Navajo counties on the north and extended southward through Graham and Greenlee counties to Cochise County and eastern Pima and Santa Cruz counties on the south.

The watches take effect late Tuesday morning and run into either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Communities included in watch areas include Springerville, Show Low, Pinetop, Sierra Vista, Safford and Bisbee.

Forecasters say areas along washes, small streams and drainages are susceptible to flooding and that low-water crossings may become impassable. Also, dirt roads may be washed out.

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