A section of State Route 89A in Oak Creek Canyon near the Slide wildfire burn area has been closed because of flooding, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
SR 89A is closed near the Switchbacks section of SR 89A, from milepost 388 to milepost 391, about 10 miles north of Sedona. Motorists wishing to travel between Sedona and Flagstaff should consider State Route 179 and Interstate 17 as an alternative.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch in the Oak Creek area until 3 p.m. after as much as one inch of rain fell in the area in less than one hour. There is no estimate on when the highway will reopen; drivers are advised to expect delays.
ADOT encourages drivers to use caution and watch for flooding and debris on highways adjacent to burned areas. Motorists should never drive past a barricade on a closed section of highway. SR 89A also was closed on Friday between mileposts 375-390 because of flooding.
ADOT urges drivers to be prepared for summer storms and potentially hazardous driving conditions by following these monsoon safety driving tips:
- When in doubt, wait it out! If you see a dust storm ahead, it’s best to exit and wait for the dust to move through the area.
- When faced with low or zero visibility conditions, pull your vehicle off the road as far to the right as possible. Turn off your lights, set the parking brake and take your foot off the brake pedal. These steps reduce the chances that other drivers mistake your vehicle as the one to follow.
- Don’t risk crossing a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep. Water is a powerful force that should not be underestimated.
- Do not drive around ‘Road Closed’ signs. You risk your life and face being cited under the state’s stupid motorist law.
- If traffic lights are out, treat an intersection just like a four-way stop.
- Expect the unexpected. Have extra supplies, including an emergency kit and drinking water, in case you experience an extended highway closure.
- Storm runoff can loosen boulders and rocks on slopes above highways. Stay alert in rockfall prone areas.
For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow us on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 5-1-1.