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Posted on: October 28, 2022

Short-Term Flood Mitigation Projects Move Forward

Flood Control District Update

These projects will restore the capacity of some of the existing flood mitigation measures in the area and reduce flood impacts to the Doney Park area through construction of a series of berms near Landfill Road.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — On October 25, the Coconino County Flood Control District (District) Directors approved investing up to $11.5 million in a set of smaller scale flood mitigation projects in the Schultz/Pipeline Flood area. These projects will restore the capacity of some of the existing flood mitigation measures in the area and reduce flood impacts to the Doney Park area through construction of a series of berms near Landfill Road. 

The District Directors received an in-depth presentation regarding the District’s short-term on-forest and neighborhood mitigation projects and staff requested a budget adjustment in the amount of $10.5 million to cover the costs. The funding will come through a loan from the County’s General Fund. After the presentation and clarifying questions from Board members, the budget adjustment was approved unanimously by those present. 

Construction of these projects will begin immediately, and completion will be largely dictated by the weather. Information regarding the approved short-term flood mitigation projects is available on the County website at bit.ly/FCDProjectsShortTerm

On October 24, the Flood Control District and City of Flagstaff hosted the Schultz Creek Flood Corridor meeting. District Chair Patrice Horstman and Vice Chair Jeronimo Vasquez along with Lucinda Andreani, Flood Control District Administrator, shared information about the plans for addressing flooding in this corridor, which impacts the Highway 180 corridor in Flagstaff including the Coconino Estates area. The District outlined the overall plan for mitigation across the nine watersheds impacted by the Pipeline Fire. The City of Flagstaff’s Stormwater Management Department provided information about flood mitigation within the Schultz Creek Flood Corridor. 

“The City, in absolutely record time, and with funding from the federal Emergency Watershed Protection Program, is constructing a sediment detention basin off Highway 180 and up Schultz Pass Road,” stated Chair Horstman. “The District is moving forward on designing on-forest watershed restoration measures including restoration of alluvial fans and grade control to reduce sediment entering the west side of Flagstaff, which is critical to the functioning of the new detention facility as well as flood mitigation planned downstream.” This project, along with the other long-term flood mitigation projects require federal funding to move through engineering and to construction.

An associated project, the Mount Elden Lookout Road Crossing, is currently in the planning phase under the direction of the Coconino County Public Works Department. This project reduces the impacts of flooding to the roadway, which experienced numerous closures this past summer due to flooding. 

Chair Horstman also emphasized the importance of the Flood Control District’s continuing focus on its Forest Restoration Initiative, which is now working to form a partnership with the City of Flagstaff and the Coconino National Forest to complete forest restoration on the upper Rio De Flag watershed. 

“Without prioritizing forest restoration, especially on the upper Rio de Flag on the west side of the Peaks, the risk of repeating this vicious cycle of wildfires in our drought-ravaged forests and devastating flooding during the monsoons increases,” said Chair Horstman, later adding, “This disaster and the mitigation needs far exceed both the City, County and Flood Control District resources.”

Reference Information

Slide Presentation 
Flood Control District
Schultz-Pipeline Flood Area
Short-Term Mitigation Projects

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