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A mass evacuation was underway in a small town in southeastern Arizona on Monday afternoon after a river overflowed and spilled into the town following heavy rains, officials said.
Flood prone areas in the town of Duncan, located just miles west of New Mexico border, were being evacuated after the Gila River reached a “major flood stage,” the Duncan Valley Rural Fire District said.
Officials said all areas lower than High Street and the Chaparral store needed to seek higher ground. The Greenlee County Fairgrounds were open and being used as an evacuation center.
Those who need to move livestock could use the corrals at the fairgrounds, officials said.
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The Gila River is a 649-mile-long tributary of the Colorado River that flows through New Mexico and Arizona.
The river crested at a record-breaking 30.28 feet on Sunday night near Virden, New Mexico, due to the recent heavy rains that have lashed much of the southwest, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
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Virden is a small town located just 7 miles east of Duncan.
Over the weekend, heavy rain closed roads in Tucson and triggered flood watches and warnings across much of Arizona.
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