Monsoon 2023 has arrived, and Phoenix officials are asking residents to be prepared for dust, wind and rain

Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department employees Gabriel Guillen and J.R. Valenzuela demonstrate the correct way to trim a tree in preparation for monsoons on Thursday, June 15, 2023. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)

The Phoenix Water Services Department emphasizes the importance of keeping sewer drains clear of blockages in preparation for summer monsoons on Thursday, June 15, 2023. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)

The Phoenix Street Transportation Department uses a vacuum truck to unclog drains. The trucks are equipped with large vacuum hoses and water jet hoses that suction debris from sewer drains on Thursday, June 15, 2023. (Photo by Evelin Ruelas/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s monsoon officially started June 15, and while there have not been any storms yet, the city of Phoenix has asked residents to prepare for the inevitable dust, wind and rain.

For the Phoenix metro area, the National Weather Service has predicted a drier than normal monsoon, which runs through Sept. 15. Still, when the powerful storms arrive, they can cause high winds and flash floods.

At an event June 15 to show storm preparations, Phoenix officials asked residents to plan ahead to prevent damage to their property.

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“If this monsoon season is anything like last year’s, we are due for a lot of rain,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “They can be a blessing, bringing us precipitation and relief from summer heat, but they can also be dangerous if we are unprepared.”

Heather Murphy, public engagement coordinator for the Phoenix Street Transportation Department, said employees prepare every year by servicing pipelines in trouble spots and making sure storm sewers and street drains are clear. They use vacuum trucks to suck up large amounts of water from sewer drains.

Gabriel Guillen with the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, said his team has been trimming trees in public areas to prevent fallen branches during strong storms. He encouraged residents to trim trees on their property as well.

The city of Phoenix offers tips for surviving this year’s monsoon at Summer Safety.

Evelin Ruelas eh-beh-leen roo-eh-las
News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Evelin Ruelas expects to graduate in August 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.