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The 2020 Museum Flood Preparedness and Mitigation Guide is being mailed to Museum Flood area property owners and residents this week.
Created by the Coconino County Flood Control District and the City of Flagstaff, the Guide contains important information about safety and preparedness during the coming monsoon season in the Museum Flood area.
The Museum Fire, which broke out on July 21, 2019, ultimately charred 1,961 acres of forest, including a significant portion of the Spruce Avenue Watershed. Severely and moderately burned portions of this watershed resulted in hydrophobic soils that will act like glass and sheet rather than absorb water, which greatly increases the risk of downstream flooding in the Mt. Elden Estates, Paradise, Grandview and Sunnyside areas during the coming monsoon season.
The first Museum Flood Preparedness and Mitigation Guide features monsoon season information for residents that includes understanding the emergency notification system; getting sandbag walls ready and what to do before, during and after a flood event. “With monsoon season right around the corner, this Guide is required reading for everyone in the Museum Flood area,” said Board of Supervisors’ Chairwoman and District 2 Supervisor Liz Archuleta, whose district includes the Sunnyside neighborhood. “Our goal is to help residents be aware and informed about the threat of monsoon flooding, which is real and will remain so for years to come.”
The Guide also has important information about long-term flood mitigation projects that have been installed on- and off-forest by the Flood Control District and the City of Flagstaff. “Long-term flood mitigation is critical both to the recovery of post-wildfire areas and to the safety of our neighbors,” said District 1 Supervisor Art Babbott, whose district includes the Mt. Elden Estates, Paradise, Grandview neighborhoods. “To date, the Flood Control District and the City of Flagstaff (COF) have invested almost $600,000 in the Museum Flood area projects to stabilize alluvial fans, reduce downstream sediment and improve channel capacity to convey floodwater safely out of neighborhoods. However, it remains very important to understand that these projects can only help to mitigate, not eliminate, the threat of flooding in our neighborhoods.”
Some of the Guide’s other major messages include the importance of securing and maintaining flood insurance, keeping sandbag walls in place until at least the end of the 2020 monsoon season and signing up for emergency notifications through www.coconino.az.gov/ready or by calling the County’s Emergency Management Department at 928-679-8311.
According to Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans, the Guide is an invaluable tool that reaffirms the commitment of the City and the Flood Control District to the safety of Museum Flood area residents. “The safety of our neighbors this monsoon season is Priority #1,” said Mayor Evans. “After the driest monsoon season ever, it’s easy to become complacent about the threat of flooding. The Flood Guide provides an invaluable reminder about the need for vigilance and preparedness for those who live and work in a post-wildfire flood area.”
An English version of the Museum Flood Preparedness and Mitigation Guide is also available online at www.coconino.az.gov/MuseumFire/FloodArea. A Spanish language version of the Guide is being completed and also will be available soon in hard copy and online. A presentation regarding the City and Flood Control District’s monsoon season joint preparation and response plan for the Museum Flood area also is available on this website.