Torrential rainfall in Arizona create significant danger

 Wednesday, August 18, 2021 


The officials in northern Arizona are reporting that historic levels of torrential rainfall on the burn scar of a large wildfire two years ago have created a significant danger for Flagstaff residents. This heavy rainfall with surging waters pouring Tuesday afternoon into neighbourhoods creates danger for the residents. Now the waters are rushing down streets, protected by piles of sandbags.

The hourly precipitation of more than 3 inches (7.6 cm) Tuesday along the southern part of the scar was described by the Coconino County Flood Control District as a “200 to 500 year rainfall event.” But here lies the significant levels of rain were recorded in other areas of the water-repellent scar, which was fully soaked Tuesday afternoon.

No one has been reported hurt, and the damage to public infrastructure remains unknown from the rivers of muddy water dragging down large rocks and wildfire debris like trunks, pine needles and scorched trees. The area schools Tuesday afternoon asked parents to wait an extra half hour or more for safety reasons to pick their children up after classes.

The flooding in Arizona last month caused about $5 million in damage to local public infrastructure like storm drains and roads.

Heavy rainfall has been pretty regular in the area since mid-July, when Flagstaff residents saw the first flooding after the start of Arizona’s annual monsoon season.

Now the flash flooding is possible mostly in Coconino County through Tuesday evening, with thunderstorms diminishing overnight. The pre-filled sandbags were being made available to help protect property from flooding amid forecasts of additional rainfall.


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