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NewsNet 07-15-14

BE PREPARED DURING MONSOON THUNDERSTORMS - With swift water rescues, power outages and flooding seemingly part of the daily news lately, there are steps you can take to be prepared for an emergency. Be Prepared Tucson advises all residents to create a 72-hour emergency kit. Each member of your family, including pets, should have a kit. A website from the City of Tucson, U.S. Department of Energy, Homeland Security, and FEMA has a checklist of everything you need to be ready for an emergency. Watch a Tucson Fire Department/Tucson 12 video on how to prepare for an emergency.

SUMMER RAINFALL AT TIA IS ABOUT AVERAGE, SO FAR - The Tucson International Airport has measured 0.85 inches of rain since June 15 (not counting this morning's storms). That is near-average. However people in other parts of Tucson report higher totals. Sierra Vista is one of the most-soaked locations in Southeast Arizona so far, recording more than 4 inches of rain. That is more than three times the average. For recordkeeping purposes, the monsoon season runs from June 15 through September 30. Read more from Tucson News Now, and track rainfaill totals at rainlog.org.

MANY OF TUCSON'S OLDER STREETS NOT MADE FOR DRAINAGE - Storm drainage planning in road construction didn't really come into play in our community until the 1980s, and flood control officials say older streets were designed to fill with water that would funnel into washes. With a growing population and heavy summer storms, that flooding sometimes causes safety problems and traffic detours. Crews from the City of Tucson and Pima County stay busy this time of year removing debris that can clog washes and cause flooding. “Most of our folks have been out working most of the night clearing drains," said Tucson Department of Transportation Director Daryl Cole. The City says you can help flood control by clearing debris on your land that could clog small washes. Read more from KGUN9.

SUN LINK TEAM QUICKLY REPAIRS LIGHTNING-DAMAGED WIRE - Sun Link Streetcar testing was suspended briefly yesterday near the University of Arizona after a damaged catenary wire fell down around noon. The Tucson Fire and Tucson Police Department secured the scene on 2nd Street. Crews discovered that the non-powered span wire was frayed and blackened which led the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) to believe lightning struck the line the night before, TDOT Deputy Director Carlos DeLeon told NewsNet. The wire was repaired and replaced within hours, he said, and testing resumed at about 5 p.m. Streetcar service begins July 25, a week from Friday.

HOW TO REPORT TRANSPORTATION CONCERNS AFTER STORM DAMAGE - Is there a tree in the road after a thunderstorm? Is there a pothole you'd like to see fixed? Is a street sign missing? You can report these issues to the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), (520) 791-3154, or email the exact location to tdotsr@tucsonaz.gov. You also can use the SeeClickFix website and app.