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Flood Water Warning Device

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This "Flood Water Warning" prototype is located next to Jackrabbit Road where it crosses the Indian Bend wash just west of Hayden Road.
This device incorporates a solar powered yellow flasher that is activated when the water level reaches four inches in depth.  The flasher is mounted on a pole that is marked with an incremental depth gauge.   Signs warning motorists "Do Not Enter When Flooded" are also mounted on the pole.
  • The intent of the flasher is to provide a warning to motorists that the wash is flowing.  It will also eliminate any question as to whether or not it is safe to cross the wash.
  • The yellow flashing caution lights will provide a warning that there is a hazard. The flashers will also draw attention to the "Do Not Enter When Flooded" sign.
  • The depth gauge provides a visual reference to the motorist that the wash is unsafe to cross.

Before installing the flasher, motorists were often unsure of the safety of crossing the flooded wash.  If they became stranded, the Police Department would cite them and bill them for their rescue.  With the flasher in place, the motorists are aware of the hazard and are deterred from crossing the flooded wash thus saving them the inconvenience and cost of a rescue.

This new type of warning flasher was made possible by recent advances in lighting technology. The flasher uses new DC operated, yellow light emitting diodes which consume only eight watts of electricity each. The 16 watts that the two flashers use is less than ten percent of what standard incandescent lamps would require. The low electrical requirement allows the unit to run off of one solar charged battery. The unit can run up to five days without sunlight.


Previously, the electrical needs of a conventional flasher would have required connection to an electrical service with a wire running between the service and the flasher. The cost of this new type flasher is approximately $1,500. The approximate cost of a conventional flasher is  $4,000. The cost to install conventional flashers at a more remote locations can be up to $20,000.

The traffic signal construction crew built and installed the warning flasher. The City of Scottsdale's, Risk Management division, through a grant, provided funding for the project.


Benefits of this project:

  • Increased safety for motorists
  • Reduced liability to City and taxpayers

Scottsdale has a total of eight flood control warning devices in the Indian Bend wash.

  • two at Indian Bend
  • one at Jackrabbit
  • two at Osborn
  • two at Murray and Oak
  • one at Roosevelt  

In addition, some of the units were fitted with a radio transceiver to aid in synchronization of the turn-on start time.

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Contact Information:
Traffic Operations at (480) 312-5620 or email Traffic Operations