NewsCentral & Southern Arizona News


Flooding clean-up just beginning for many in Gila Bend

Gila Bend Flooding
Posted at 4:29 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 12:12:09-04

GILA BEND, AZ — Almost a week after deadly flooding blanketed Gila Bend, the clean-up is just beginning in many places.

According to the Mayor's office, more than 140 homes and more than a dozen businesses were damaged in weekend flooding. Sadly, two people lost their lives.

Gila Bend braces for more storm damage

"It started coming -- fast," explained Luis Henry, whose home was severely damaged in the flood. "My house must have filled up in 15-20 seconds."

Henry shot a video with his iPhone as his home continued to fill up with water, his belongings floating around the living room, and a chihuahua seeking shelter on top of a bed.

Henry told ABC15 he was sleeping when the heavy rain began. He woke up, thinking he heard the sound of a faucet being left on, not realizing rushing water was at his door.

"I couldn't turn the knob to get it out," he explained. "Finally, I got it opened and the water just gushed in, so it was all over."

With just seconds to react, Henry says he grabbed his three dogs and put them in a truck outside to keep them safe. Immediately after, he headed towards his parents' home down the street, realizing they needed help, risking his own life to walk through the floodwaters.

RELATED: Declaration of Emergency issued after flooding in Gila Bend

"I walked through running water, chest level, got my parents out, got them up the ladder, and they were choppered out."

This week, as Henry's home continues to dry out, his family, friends, and volunteers are helping him savage and repair what is left. With no flood insurance, Henry isn't sure if he can rebuild, but he says he walked away with what's most important.

"I'm just glad to be alive."

Flash flooding destroys home in Gila Bend

Maricopa County has set up a website with information to help those impacted by the Gila Bend flooding. Resources include places to get help with food, utilities, home re-entry, inspections, animal care, legal advice, and much more.