GLOBE, AZ — The City of Globe is struggling to find housing for residents displaced by monsoon flooding. While funding is available for damage caused by the Telegraph Fire, assistance after flooding damage amplified by burn scars left behind by the fire is not.
"This is a true emergency we need some help here," said Globe Mayor Al Gameros, who met with ABC15 at two locations heavily damaged by monsoon flooding last week.
Every first-floor room at the Oyo Hotel, off of the US 60, was flooded, walls destroyed by water, and finally left under an inch of mud. The managers of the hotel say everything is completely gone, including mattresses, mini-fridges, televisions, and other furniture. In room 133, water broke through a wall, leaving a giant hole.
Kasey Bates, who recently moved back to her hometown of Globe, was staying in room 127 when water began rushing into her room.
"I'm just sitting on the bed watching TV. I heard a knock on the door and they’re like, 'You gotta go. We gotta get everybody evacuated because it’s coming,'" said Bates, whose 12-year-old son was at school during the flood. The duo lost nearly everything they had. "We lost all our clothes, my birth certificate, important paperwork like that."
Nearby, April Duncan was scrambling for her own life, as flooding ravaged its way through Little Acres Mobile Home Park where she was staying. Duncan, now living in her car, has nowhere to live.
"I don’t know what to do. I have no idea," said Duncan. "Arizona just doesn't seem like it has enough help here in Globe." Every home in Little Acres was affected by the flooding. One home was lifted off its foundation and carried about 15 feet away. Another home floated the length of the entire park while the resident slept on the mattress. Miraculously, she survived.
Mayor Gameros, who is advocating for state or federal funds to help with temporary housing, is in disbelief to hear that Little Acres is without water, gas, sewage, or power.
In June, Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 1001 providing millions of dollars for wildfire relief, partly to help with the Telegraph Fire, that started near Superior, Ariz., and burned nearly 200,000 acres. Burn scars from the fire only amplified the flooding. Little Acres is not only located on a flood plain but is at the bottom of a burn scar left behind from the Telegraph Fire.
In July, Gila County was able to secure money to help with flood mitigation and cleanup in Globe and surrounding areas, however, Gameros said money for cleanup isn't enough. He said the residents of Globe, and others displaced by flooding need resources for temporary housing.
"If your house was burned in the fire, you would be covered with insurance. If you’re flooded out because of this fire, you’re not covered," said Gameros. "I have not heard from Governor Ducey. We’ve been on our own here trying to help these people, and that’s the frustrating part."
The Salvation Army is currently set up in Miami at 2448 E. US 60 HWY., just a few miles south of Globe, next to Walmart. More resources for donations and the food bank can be found on the City of Globe Facebook page.
Gameros said a crew of about 30 volunteers are arriving on Thursday to help with cleanup. Much of the Oyo hotel parking lot, and every first-floor room, is covered with mud.
He said a truck with supplies to help those displaced arrived from Casa Grande on Saturday, and another truck will be arriving this upcoming Saturday.
Gameros said the only reason Globe received that relief is after those trucks were redirected from Gila Bend because Gila Bend already had more relief than it could handle.
As for the resident of Little Acres Mobile Home Park, some are still living in their homes, but a resident said many are forced to sleep in their cars alongside the road.