Preparing for monsoons by training in the CAP canal

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Monsoon season is near at hand, which means you’ll soon be seeing images on the evening news showing motorists stranded in swift waters that may have been a dry wash moments before.

For years, Arizona emergency service agencies have been preparing by conducting swift water rescue trainings in one of the only places where water is moving quickly throughout the year — the Central Arizona Project canal. The practice prepares trained rescuers for monsoon and similar storm events that can create sudden flash floods and other life-threatening emergencies.

The teams practice rescuing a “victim” from the water by demonstrating their rescue swimming skills in the moving water current, performing throw bag operations, executing boating operations and throwing ropes across the water to a helicopter.

View our video here.

These drills also provide an opportunity for CAP to emphasize our safety messages, especially with the media. Our entire 336-mile system is fenced to protect the public’s safety. The water is moving more quickly than it looks and can be hazardous if someone were to fall into the canal.