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Last night, staff members from the Coconino County Flood Control District and the City of Flagstaff presented to the Board of Supervisors and the City Council in a joint work session on the Museum Flood Area.
The meeting provided an historic look at the mitigation efforts taken during and immediately after the Museum Fire, as well as additional mitigation measures since that time. The City and County Flood Control District deployed sandbags and barriers to the neighborhood, and warned of the high-risk for flooding. J.E. Fuller Hydrology, the leading experts in post-wildfire hydrology, were immediately engaged to conduct a flood hazard analysis. The analysis results were used by the Flood Control District to develop and implement the flood mitigation plan. The analysis showed severe flooding would impact 400 homes and 35 businesses.
District and City teams worked to implement the plan. The District has spent $3.4 million on mitigation and response in the Museum Flood Area to date, and the City has spent $1.8 million since July 13, 2021. To date, neither the District nor the City has received any reimbursement, however, the Flood Control District was recently successful in securing partial project funding from the NRCS for an emergency mitigation project in Mount Elden Estates. The funds were secured and the project was completed between the July 13 and the August 17 flood events. This project will benefit Mount Elden Estates and downstream neighborhoods.
In addition to a review of the mitigation measures put into place, City and Flood Control District staff discussed plans for future long-term mitigation. An Engineering Summit will occur on Thursday and Friday this week with representatives participating from the US Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA), Army Corps of Engineers, Flagstaff Unified School District, Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Arizona Geological Survey, Arizona Department of Transportation, and ten civil engineers from six private engineering consulting firms, as well as staff from both the city and County Flood Control District.
During yesterday’s work session, staff reported that future funding is limited and will be very competitive with other disasters across the country, and advocacy is ongoing. Friday’s Engineering Summit will bring together great minds to identify long-term potential, conceptual flood mitigation projects, which will then be investigated for feasibility and funding. A public report out will occur on Friday, August 27 at noon on the Coconino County YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/coconinocnty