Labor Day weekend turned out to be a lot wetter than expected in Parker and La Paz County. A monsoon storm came through the area the evening of Sept. 1, bringing with it dust, rain and high winds. Washes were running throughout the county, and a flash flood warning was in effect for northwest La Paz County and parts of eastern Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
There were structures damaged in Bouse, including one structure losing most of its roof. Winds in Parker felled several trees in the town, including one at Wallace Elementary School that crushed a fence facing onto Navajo Avenue. Structures were also damaged upriver and in BlueWater Lagoon.
The storm caused extensive power outages in the upriver area north of Parker. Arizona Public Service said more than 2,100 customers were affected. There were 95 APS customers without power in Bouse.
There were also power outages across the Colorado River Indian Reservation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs called in extra crews to deal with the downed lines and power poles.
A social media message Sunday night from Tribal Council Member Anisa Patch, which was followed by an official announcement Monday, urged tribal members to conserve water as electricity for the Tribes’ wells was out. Tribal members and others were urged to check on those who might be vulnerable to the heat, including the sick and elderly. Much of the power had been restored by later Monday night, Sept. 2.
With the outages, the American Red Cross set up cooling stations at the BlueWater Resort & Casino, the old CRIT Museum in downtown Parker, and Alumni Hall at Parker High School.
Some sections of State Route 72 were closed due to flooding. ADOT said affected washes and roadways include Cienega Springs Rd and Riverside Drive, Riverside Drive and Parker Golf Course, and Riverside Drive and Marina Way.
CRIT Head Start was closed Tuesday. With the exception of Le Pera Elementary School, all the schools in the Parker Unified School District were open as usual on Tuesday. While there were no classes at Le Pera, the staff was ordered to report by 7:30 a.m.
One of the businesses that received extensive damage was Parker Accounting Services at 1012 4th Street. Their garage door was damaged and a large section of the roof was blown off. Staff spent much of the day Monday cleaning up. Owner Connie LaMoureux said they would be temporarily moving to 1600 California Avenue, Unit 1. This is across the street from the Parker Circle K store.
By Monday afternoon, social media in the Parker area was filled with messages thanking power line crews and first responders for their actions during and after the storm.