Captain Rick: Viewed through a pair of twisted mesquite trees stands a gazebo in a lush, green, grassy neighborhood park in Chandler Arizona. A patch of yellow lantana highlights the foreground. A couple date palms stand tall on each side of the gazebo. The grassy area beyond the gazebo, which is watered daily with sprinklers to keep it green, actually forms the bottom of a flood basin that lies several feet below the level of surrounding land so that it can collect rain runoff from a storm. Parks like this dot neighborhoods across Arizona’s Valley of the Sun (Phoenix metro). This park served its purpose during the record flood of September 2014 that dropped a half-year’s rainfall (about 4”) in just a few hours, causing most of what is visible beyond the gazebo to be under water for several days.

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