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Runoff from snowmelt opening holes around Coconino County homes

Coconino County erosion
Posted at 4:12 PM, Mar 28, 2023

The runoff from the snow melting is causing issues for some homeowners in parts of northern Arizona as private and public lands are seeing erosion.

Ashley Lewis showed us holes that have opened up around her property near the Doney Park area.

The front and back yard was overrun with runoff from snowmelt last week, which has made the ground unstable.

Lewis said she was bringing her father tea outside when she fell inside one of the holes.

“It was so scary, I’m surprised I didn’t go further in,” said Lewis. “I just went under, waist deep, my pockets kind of flared up and my phone was safe, but like I had tea in one hand, and they just kind of pulled me out.”

Coconino County officials warn that they are watching the weather as temperatures rise, more snow melts, and more rain possibly follows.

“I think the flooding we're experiencing currently has been more significant in some cases than flows that we’ll see during monsoon season, depends on the monsoon season with those larger scale events,” said Andy Bertelson with Coconino County.

Officials have asked residents to be prepared for issues of erosion on the roads that could cut off access to or from their properties.

There are concerns for low-lying areas as well as properties that sit along some drainage or wash areas along the Rio de Flag.

Last week, a school bus in Doney Park partially fell into Slayton Ranch Road, which eroded from the runoff.

No students were on the school bus, and the bus driver was not injured.

County officials estimate it will take between 60 to 90 days until the road is repaired.

The county has placed sandbags at several locations for snow melt ponding:

County Sandbag Locations as of March 24:

  • Peaks View Park 
  • Campbell & N US-89
  • Snowbowl & Highway 180 (Base of Snowbowl Road)
  • Fort Tuthill
  • Ponderosa Fire Station – Station 81 (Parks)
  • Munds Park Community Church
  • Highlands Fire District Station #23 (Mountainaire)
  • Raymond County Park 

If you have any questions or concerns you can also reach out to officials at: SnowMeltPonding@coconino.az.gov

County officials are also warning residents that septic systems and wells can be impacted by ice/snow melt, so they’re asking everyone to take precautions.

You can find more information here.