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Flooding hits Flagstaff for the third time in one week

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Posted at 10:16 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-30 01:16:18-04

FLAGSTAFF — It’s been a week for Flagstaff and Coconino County.

On and off monsoon rains pounded burn scars, both new and old. Areas that typically don’t see flooding, watched standing water get too close for comfort on Friday.

Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy tweeted a video of the culvert pressure release grates along US 180.

That highway was closed for hours due to flooding keeping some residents from getting to their home during a hectic time.

Highway 89 on the other side of town was also closed due to flooding.

Burn scars from the Museum, Tunnel and Pipeline fires across the San Francisco peaks led to runoff in areas some haven’t yet experienced before.

Along US 180, Kyle House put in hours of work leading up to monsoon rains to protect his home and others.

“I’ve made a canal and now I’m trying to maintain it,” he said showing where the swift waters run by his home, about 100 yards away from the culvert Mayor Deasy showed on Friday.

”The entire flood comes out of these two boxes,” he said.

He says the burn scar from last month’s Pipeline fire has caused areas to flood that never have in decades.

Neighbors along Stevanna Way say Flagstaff crews have come to remove inches of mud three separate times this week with heavy construction equipment.

“Three floods in less than a week, in a cul-de-sac that hasn’t seen a flood in more than 50 years, that’s what a wildfire does to runoff it’s amazing,” said House.

Thousands of sandbags line the edges of homes downstream of the runoff.

As labor intensive as sandbags may be to lay down and line up in a way that water doesn’t bust through, they’re a necessity for Coconino County homeowners.

If one neighbor in a flood-prone area doesn’t lay them down, it could cause water to creep into their home, as well as ohers.

Clean up, as overwhelming as it may be to think about, isn’t on the radar just yet.

“We’re going to have to wait for a dry spell and going to have to hire somebody because I have a job and I’ve spent a ton of time making these features to save my house,” said House pointing to the 2,000 sandbags lined around his home.

Just a few blocks south, rain stopped and receded before it started to climb up those sandbag barriers.

They caught a break today, but there’s more rain forecasted in the days ahead.

“I’m looking at the rain gauges trying to figure out if I really need to be worried,” said John, a Flagstaff homeowner.