Severe storms pummel the Southwest causing flash flooding and power outages in California and Arizona. (Reuters)

A record-setting amount of rain in Arizona has flooded roadways, closed multiple schools and generally wreaked all kinds of havoc in the desert.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) declared an emergency in areas affected by the flooding, calling on nonessential state employees to stay home and off the roads.

As of this morning, the rainfall at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport had reached 2.96 inches, setting a record for the most rain in a single day, according to the National Weather Service. (For some perspective: The average rainfall during Phoenix’s rainy season is 2.71 inches.)

How bad is the flooding? Pretty bad:

The area around Phoenix remained under a flash flood warning as of noon (on the East Coast), with flash flood watches across much of the rest of the state. And the deluge isn’t about to let up, as Angela Fritz notes at the Capital Weather Gang.