East Valley Tribune Brown rapids and debris turned Tempe Town Lake into a spectacle for curious people Friday as the lake’s dam-lowering system and the rest of the Valley was tested by a massive release of water. Traffic slowed on Loop 202 and onlookers lined the banks of the Salt River to witness what many people have not seen before: The transformation of a normally dry riverbed into an expanse of rushing water as wide as a half-mile in some places. “I’ve been here four years and I didn’t even know this part was a riverbed,” said Joanna Parris, who came from Phoenix with her dog to see water rolling over the Tempe Town Lake dam and back into the Salt River. Parris wouldn’t take the leash off her dog, fearing he’d jump in the water and be washed away. “It’s kind of scary.” Heavy rainfall prompted Salt River Project to release 30,000 cubic feet of water per second Thursday, the first release since March 30, 1998, and the largest since 1995, said SRP spokesman Jeff Lane.
RARE SIGHT: Watchers gather Friday to see water flow through the Salt River .