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Cities, towns in Gila County prepare for monsoon season after last year's flooding

Flooding in Globe
Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 16:02:50-04

MIAMI/GLOBE, AZ — The town of Globe and the city of Miami are preparing for 2022’s monsoon season following the historic flooding that took place last year.

Burn scars left in the wake of the Telegraph and Mescal fires caused significant runoff during monsoon storms, which in turn, flooded areas of Gila County.

To prepare area residents for the rains to come, the Town of Miami and the City of Globe held a town hall meeting at Miami High School in early June.

“It left me shivering a little bit when I left there,” said Frank Tena, a resident of Miami.

Last year, Frank and his wife, Susie Tena, lost everything when a wash near their home flooded. Since then, the Tenas have been rebuilding Susie’s childhood home themselves. It’s still not clear when they’ll be able to move back in.

RELATED: Miami/Globe community still struggling one year after wildfires, flooding

The Tenas said they are concerned about what monsoon storms will bring this year, knowing that their home sits in a floodplain.

“If it comes again, we’re gonna lose everything again,” Susie said.

Al Gameros, a lifelong resident of Globe and its current mayor, is doing everything he can to help residents prepare for looming monsoon storms.

“I lived here all my life and I’ve never seen water so high,” Gameros said. “We learned a lot from it.”

Gameros and the Mayor of Miami, Sammy Gonzales, have worked together with the county to remove debris from waterways, pack sandbags and inform residents about what they need to do to prepare.

“I think we're in a good place right now. We're not going to stop what's going to happen this year. We anticipate more flooding,” Gameros said. “But we have better equipment. We will be better prepared.”

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Even with preparation, area residents still tell ABC15 they’re nervous about the rain.

Terry Gale lives in the Little Acres Mobile Home Park in Gila County. The mobile home park was one of the hardest-hit areas last year during the flooding.

“I’ve seen some floods but nothing like last year. I mean, they literally washed people’s houses away,” Gale said.

Little Acres might be home for Gale, but if the floods come again, he’s prepared.

“My trailer will sit here hooked up to one of my trucks ready to go,” Gale said. “If I see it right here on the mountain like it did last year, I’m leaving. Because you ain’t going to outrun it. The best thing to do is leave, get out of there, it’s not worth it. This stuff you can replace, your life you can’t replace.”