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Flagstaff residents preparing for monsoon storms

Flash flooding in Flagstaff
Posted at 4:14 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 16:07:02-04

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Schultz. Museum. Tunnel. Pipeline. Haywire.

These fires have left a mark along the slopes of the San Francisco Peaks and several neighborhoods in Flagstaff due to burn scar flooding.

“Water is like fire. What can you do? Just get out of the way,” says Flagstaff homeowner Sam Morgan.

He’s lived in the Grandview Homes neighborhood along the southern edge of the San Francisco Peaks for nearly two decades. He remembers the burn scar flooding of 2021 vividly.

“I’ve never seen water like that around here,” he says.

His street, along with several others in Flagstaff, are lined up with sandbags stacked several feet high in preparation for this year’s monsoon season.

The threat is higher now due to new fires burning and the scars they’ll leave behind, according to Incident Meteorologist Mark Stubblefield.

“Some of the fire effects is that the ground actually gets cooked and so it doesn’t absorb any water. It flows off like a tin roof,” he states.

Stubblefield is in charge of monitoring weather conditions and forecasting what firefighting crews will face along the front lines of the Pipeline and Haywire fires.

With a chance for storms this weekend, fire crews and residents will face several weather challenges.

This means that the recently installed Museum Fire burn scar siren alerting system may go off in parts of Flagstaff, including the Grandview Homes and Sunnyside neighborhoods, warning residents that flooding is imminent.

The sirens will go off in several neighborhoods, including Grandview Homes, Sunnyside, Mt. Elden Estates, and Paradise, if 3/4” of rainfall hits the Museum Fire burn scar in 15 minutes or less.

The City of Flagstaff and the Coconino County Flood Control District will demonstrate how the sirens work on Friday, June 17, at Joel Montalvo Park at 1:30 p.m.

They also plan on testing the sirens on Friday in the Grandview Homes and Sunnyside neighborhoods between 12p.m. - 2 p.m., weather permitting.