By July 30, 2017

5 Years Later: Remembering the Thousand-Year Storm

tree toppled by anthem storm

Many residents lost trees in the storm. Photo by Brad Wood

Robert Roy Britt — In the past five years, Anthem hasn’t seen anything like the howling winds and torrential downpour that struck on July 31, 2012. And statistically speaking, it’s unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

Weather experts dubbed the event a once-in-1,000-year rain catastrophe. The monsoon storm blew in and essentially parked over the town, dumping up to 5.01 inches of rain in 90 minutes, according to the Maricopa County Flood Control District.

The storm, in classic monsoon style, delivered sporadic impacts. While roads and backyards were flooded in much of the town as trees and even decades-old saguaros fell in the wind, the far eastern part of Anthem saw few significant effects. And in Tramonto, many residents weren’t even aware a storm had blown through.

Readers Share Their 2012 Storm Memories on Facebook

“There was a ton of concrete debris and re-bar in the water with me…” — Jeannette Feeley

“…Someone’s big pool umbrella was bouncing everywhere down the street crashing into cars and breaking windows.” — Sara Phillippi Stites 

“Trapped inside Walmart. … a huge gust of wind pulled part of the roof up…” — Anna Elizabeth Bender

“I was that guy on the motorcycle stuck on the side of the road between Daisy Mountain and Anthem Way.” — Stan Broumley

See all Reader’s Storm Stories, Photos & Videos >>>

Some facts, photos & videos:

  • Wind gusts exceeded 60 mph.
  • 176 trees were lost, just on Anthem Community Council property.
  • Three Anthem homes were damaged by floodwaters as high as 3 feet inside the houses.
anthem flood water

Water was in places it shouldn’t be. Photo by Brad Wood

water flooding a wash in anthem

By the time photographers could safely go out, water that had topped roads and bridges had receded in many Anthem washes. Photo by Brad Wood

anthem storm news media

The news media of course descended on Anthem after the storm. Photo by Nadine Shaalan

flooded tennis courts

Clay Courts: The Anthem Community Center tennis courts were flooded, as water topped Anthem Way and flowed down into the courts, leaving behind a layer of silt. Photo by Brad Wood

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