Crews prepare for Tucson’s monsoon flooding with ‘Operation Splash’

The Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility is readying for the summer thunderstorm season with sandbags and pre-deployed barricades in an initiative called “Operation Splash.”

The city’s transportation staff has been on call 24 hours a day since Monday and will remain so until mid-September to respond to flash floods. The crews will be ready to deploy barricades and supply a self-serve sandbag location at Hi Corbett Field ahead of the coming monsoon storms.

More than 500 pre-deployed barricades are being deployed at flood-prone dips in the roads around the city. On-call staff will then set up barricades once roads become submerged as the rainfall sheets across the desert.

The Operation Splash team may get a jump on the weather if severe thunderstorms are forecast and crews decide barricades should be set up prior to the water flowing.

City officials remind motorists and passers-by that these barricades need to be heeded. They aren’t gentle suggestions. A little bit of water over the right amount of sand can strand and wash away cars.

All low-lying areas in the city of Tucson are subject to flooding during the summer thunderstorm season. City crews will remove hazardous debris left by receding floodwaters.

The sandbag service will be available in the parking lot of Reid Park’s old baseball stadium at 700 S. Randolph Way. Sand and the bags will be provided but anyone using the service must bring their own shovel. The location will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be resupplied as needed.

The city has established a limit of 10 sandbags per person.

Since 2016, the department has distributed approximately 137,500 sandbags.

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