Manager’s Report

Arizona’s monsoon season officially begins June 15 and continues through Sept. 30. With it comes higher humidity, which can lead to thunderstorms, heavy rain, lightning, hail, high winds, flash flooding, dust storms, and extreme heat.

During high wind storms, the SunBird automated vehicle gates and barrier arms can malfunction and will automatically default to an open position to protect the operators and motors. Lightning storms can sometimes cause power outages. In the event of a loss of power, the automated vehicle gates are equipped with emergency battery back-up systems that will open the gates. For safety, the gates will stay in the open position until the electricity is restored.

Monsoon storms can appear anytime, causing power outages in the early afternoons or late evenings. If a power outage occurs affecting the clubhouse during normal operating hours, the clubhouse will have to be cleared out and closed until further notice. Without electricity, the air conditioners do not operate, causing indoor temperatures to rise, and the lighting will be diminished. Emergency back-up lights are located within the clubhouse and stairways to help guide the way out. Patrol will sweep through the entire clubhouse before final closing. When power is restored, the fire alarms and security systems, Internet modems, computers, and most other clubhouse equipment will have to be checked and/or reset prior to reopening. After the clubhouse equipment and operations have been restored and are ready to be opened, an email blast will be sent to the community with the latest information.

Monsoon storms that have thunder and lightning can be dangerous to persons outside. SunBird Patrol monitors lightning strikes through a weather app that tracks and records strikes within a distance to SunBird. If lightning strikes within 10 miles of SunBird, outdoor recreational facilities, including the swimming pools, will be closed. The swimming pools may reopen 30 minutes after the last lightning strike occurs within 30 miles and the swimming pool area is in normal operating order. If lightning strikes within 10 miles after 9 p.m., the swimming pools will be or remain closed until the following day.

Typically, monsoon storms will affect isolated areas with varying intensity throughout the Valley. Sometimes these monsoon storms can create quite a mess with fallen trees and branches, dirt and debris, and other work. SunBird maintenance staff begins the clean-up process early the following morning, first assessing and addressing any emergencies, then cleaning and balancing chemicals at the swimming pools, organizing patio furniture, and cleaning decks. Next, clubhouse patios, walkways, balconies, and parking lots. Next, they move to the other outdoor facilities: sport courts, shuffleboard, and around the clubhouse. At times, due to the damage of the storm, opening the facilities may be temporarily delayed due to this work. After the clubhouse area has been addressed, the landscape crew will inspect the common landscaped areas to prioritize and clear any fallen or damaged trees. Sometimes these storm clean-ups can take several weeks, depending on the severity.

It’s always best to be prepared for these storms to increase the safety and awareness of SunBird. We appreciate the SunBird Patrol working through these sometimes hectic storms and monitoring the community and facilities. We also appreciate our facility and maintenance landscape staff for the additional work of clean-up in sometimes very hot and humid conditions. It’s nice to know we have people looking out for us.