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Maricopa county officials warning drivers of road fissures after monsoon storms

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 01:15:59-04

Maricopa County officials are warning we could see more fissures popping up across the Valley and in other parts of the state following Monsoon activity.

Last Thursday, a fissure re-opened on Houston Avenue in Apache Junction. 

A man who owns a body repair shop with his son ended up sinking into it as he was driving in his work van. 

"My co-workers say, 'I think your dad is stuck in the hole out there!' and I'm like, 'What?!'"

TJ Phelps and his dad own Dents Plus. Phelps says his father was driving his work truck when it fell victim to a fissure, literally falling into the road as it partially collapsed. 

"If the asphalt would have given way, the whole front end of the van would have just gone right down the hole!" Phelps said.

The earth opened wide here last week. Pinal County officials first noticed the fissure last year and repaired it at the end of Monsoon 2017. But just last week, it re-opened due to the pounding rain. Now, the county tells ABC15 they're working with a flood engineer to come up with another solution, so this doesn't happen again. 

"This road washed out two or three times already, so it's just normal here," explained Edward Arington. He and his daughter came close to the fissure last week as well. 
Experts say fissures can cause millions of dollars in damages each year in Arizona, from collapsed roads, broken pipes, even injuries to animals and people.  

To view an interactive map to see which areas of the Valley experts say may be more at risk for these fissures, click here.