Two Rare Sights in Phoenix

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentIt’s raining again here today. We’re probably coming up to a full week’s worth of rainy days since the start of the year, though I haven’t been counting.

Of more importance than the rain here is the snow in Northern Arizona. Runoff from the snow pack melts into the state’s river system. And that river system, primarily the Salt and Verde rivers, makes up a decent portion of the Valley’s water supply.

There are a series of dams and man-made lakes along the Salt River before it reaches the main part of the Valley. Actual reservoir levels are available through Salt River Project’s website and updated daily.

The Salt River is mostly dry through the Phoenix metropolitan area. Tempe Town Lake is in the Salt River bed but isn’t part of the reservoir system. It’s purely for recreation. For that matter, all of the creek and river beds in the Valley are dry. Unless it rains. Then they kinda look like this for a few days.

New River - Phoenix Arizona

That’s New River as it crosses under Union Hills Drive in Peoria, just south of Fletcher Heights and west of Arrowhead Ranch. It’s a dry river bed. Unless it’s not.

All of the reservoirs are connected. If there’s too much water for one to handle, the gates are opened and water’s released to the next one down the line. If there’s too much for the system in general, that’s when problems happen.

Thirty years ago we had 100-year-floods here that wiped out almost every bridge across the Salt River. It happened again the next year. Needless to say, the new generation of bridges is significantly stronger than what was standing in 1978 and 1979.

I promised two rare sights for the Phoenix area and here’s the other one. The Chamber of Commerce may be cringing that the sun’s not out but at least there’s a benefit.

Phoenix Arizona real estate

[tags]Phoenix Arizona[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Francy 10 years ago

    At risk of dating myself I will say that I remember the floods of ’78 and ’79 very well.
    The Hassayampa River in the far west/northwest valley was quite a sight to see.
    I always think of those flooding rivers when someone tells me that the floodways on their property shouldn’t make that big a difference in the value of their property.

  • Charleston real estate today 10 years ago

    JD, while you may not have had “chamber of commerce” weather yesterday, it was a fantastic sports day in Phoenix.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    There certainly have been more boring ones, Howard, that’s for sure.

    Francy … you’re not dating yourself any more than I am.

  • Daytona Beach Condos For Sale 10 years ago

    Let it rain but a little at a time.

    Where I use to live in NJ a couple years ago they had 12 hours of such rainfall like 20 inches that it broke 12 dams and flooded many communities.

    Homes were lost and these lakes have still not been fixed and sit dry till the state can afford to fix the dams and bridges.

    I remember see a show on how out west there were huge rains which brought a larger vegetation and therefore the rodents population grew and invaded areas and the people became sick from the deer mouse droppings. They said this is actually a cycle that happens every 20 years or so.

    So while we all need the rain let it rain a little at a time. I have great concerns after that bridge collapse this past year that indeed our US Bridges are in trouble and need immediate attention.

    I have learned living in a hurricane area it’s the rain that does the damage and when bridges get taken out supplies don’t come in. We had no gas here for 3 weeks and getting to work was impossible. It’s amazing to think that this could of happen but it did. The escambia bridge went out and ports had huge amounts of sand pushed into them and had to be dregged out to let tank ships come in with fuel.