In 2010, the Schultz fire destroyed more than 15,000 acres of forest lands in Coconino County, and the recent rains resulted in flooding and the loss of 4-6” of topsoil in the affected areas. Last month, the situation was compounded as the Flagstaff area marked one of the wettest July’s in almost 100 years.
With little vegetation left to retain rainwater, many homeowners were recently devastated by the resulting floods. To make matters worse, as they do not live in an active flood plain, so many of those families did not have flood insurance nor are they able to finance the necessary repair costs needed to restore their homes and replace personal water damaged items.
Reacting to the plight of the affected families in his district, State Representative Bob Thorpe (R-Dist.6) has issued a statewide appeal to the people of Arizona to come to the aid of the families currently coping with the effects of the recent flooding.
Representative Thorpe stated, “I am proud of the generosity and outpouring of support that was extended to the families affected by the recent Yarnell Fire. I would like to recognize that same generosity exhibited by the United Way of Northern Arizona as they have led the efforts to aid Coconino County flood victims. I encourage all the good people of our state to work with disaster relief organizations to help these families salvage their homes and restore their lives.”
According to the National Weather Service, the total monsoon rainfall for July (7.58 inches) tied the record set back in 1919 for the wettest July ever in Flagstaff.
According to County officials, variable factors such as storm speed and ground saturation mean that no two events will affect the burn area and surrounding areas in the same way during a given monsoon season. For this reason, the County is again maintaining a daily watch on the burn and flood areas before, during and after the rain starts falling to assess and respond appropriately when necessary to flooding impacts.
Now in its fourth summer, this intensive process involves both monitoring storm and rain information for the burn and flood areas and “boots on the ground” in the flood area.