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Jun 9, 2014 8:35 PM by Lauren Reimer

Safety tips for the coming monsoon

It hasn't rained yet, but the monsoon is almost upon us, beginning officially on June 15th, and running through September 30th.

After a long dry spell, seeing the water fill the roads and washes can look inviting to some, but it comes with hidden dangers.

"When you go to the wash right now and look at it, anything that is in that wash for miles upstream is going to be getting washed downhill," said Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker. "So you have boulders, rocks tires, shopping carts."

He said even the strongest swimmers can be swept away.

"Because if something hits you and traps you or knocks you unconscious, now you're unconscious and no one can swim when that's the case," Baker said.

Being in a car won't promise security either.

"The water depth itself is always a little misleading, and so oftentimes we can see a car in front of you that can pass through a wash so you inherently think that you can do it as well, but in the meantime the road might have washed out," Baker said.

Before the rain ever hits the ground, the Tucson Fire Department is getting ready for what's to come.

"So it's not a matter of if we have those types of rescues, but when we have them but that's not the time to practice because then it's too late," Baker said. "So we're always very proactive in the months leading up to that."

Baker said the best way for you to stay safe, is to stay indoors during the rains, and never underestimate the power of Mother Nature.

Even though we usually don't see those thunderstorms popping up until around July 4th, the storms can bring lightning strikes, high winds, and flash flooding, with the potential for deaths and injuries, along with millions of dollars in damage each year.

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