For anyone who has ever traveled in the desert, you know that 98% of the effort to construct roads (or anything) is to manage flooding. We are talking about an area that might get 6 inches of rain – per year. Death Valley gets about 2 inches per year.
Anyway, I mention this because we thought it was all a front – all these signs about flooding etc. But while staying in Lake Pleasant RP, we had rain that lasted from one afternoon and throughout the night, and continued on into the next day. Not sure how much rain we had. A lot.
As we departed Lake Pleasant we finally got to see what all the fuss was about – raging torrents of water along side the road in normally dry riverbeds and flooding on the roadways. This same road was subsequently closed entirely to traffic as rain continued.
Later that same day we experienced the effect of another desert phenomenon: dust storms. We were traveling on a back road heading east towards New Mexico when suddenly truck traffic seemed to increase exponentially. We were relatively close to I-10 (within 100 miles) and I wondered aloud to Karen if maybe I-10 had been washed out due to the rain.
Turns out they did not have rain south of us, but they had winds that blew dust from what were probably poorly cared for farms, and due to the volume of traffic accidents they literally shut down I-10 for a number of hours. Can you imagine? There are signs on I-10 warning of zero visibility conditions – I guess that is exactly what they had.
Well, traffic on our road (where I-10 was being rerouted) came to an abrupt halt, and we sat behind this one tractor-trailer for the next 6 hours. Made downtown Atlanta traffic look like a breeze!