News 4 Lifesaver

Jul 18, 2013 9:00 PM by Kristi Tedesco

Parents must know the hidden dangers of monsoons

TUCSON - Flash floods can be deadly during the monsoon so adult supervision should extend beyond the backyard swimming pool.

As of July 18th, Tucson Fire Department responded to four swift water rescues. Two of those operations were on the same day.

Capt. Lewis Harris is with Tucson Fire's Technical Rescue Team. He says these rescues are dangerous and complicated.

"You don't have a stable footing a lot of the time. You don't know what's coming down that river. And believe it or not if you have water that's just up to your thigh or waist--that can be carrying a refrigerator or who knows what down."

There is also a danger just being near a wash.

"These banks do erode, they erode quickly and they do give way."

Once in the water, even a strong swimmer is in crisis.

"Any of those big trees out there and bushes, if you do get swept away, they're called strainers, you get caught in one of those and it's over," says Capt. Harris.

There are also dangers in our neighborhoods.

"And what we got here is three streets that are converging basically to a drainage area. And this is candy to a child," explains Capt. Barrett Baker with Tucson Fire Department.

"Just even being in six inches of water, it could pin you against this. It could trap you underneath."

And getting still closer to home, right in your own backyard, you need to look for items which will collect a couple of inches of water such as buckets, planters, toys and such.

Little ones have been known to fall in and they don't have the upper body strength to pull themselves out.

"If your mouth and your nose are covered by water," explains Capt. Baker. "Then you're going to drown. It's a simple as that."

So after every rain make sure you dump the water out of all those items because even a rainy day can be a drowning day.


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