Neighbors help neighbors in Apache Junction storm cleanup

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by Natalie Brand

azfamily.com

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 25 at 9:40 AM

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- Home video taken by Bradi Riggins, of Apache Junction, shows the river formed by rain that flowed into her front yard, flooding part of her property during Sunday’s monsoon.

“It was a sight to see,” Riggins said. “It filled up with water, was like whitewater rafting.”

Riggins knew city crews were already swamped with calls, so she dialed up a friend who works for a landscaping supply company.

Fred Niehans got permission from his boss at AZ Rock Depot to bring over a Bobcat tractor to help move all the mud.

“This is the area where a lot of water started coming in,” Niehans pointed up where he built a berm to keep the water from flowing into the yard.

He helped not only Riggins but other neighbors in need.

“I just saw there were people standing on the street; they couldn't get in and out of their driveways, and to their families,” Niehans said. “It was a mess. I figured I had the equipment, so I mind as well do what I can.”

City crews arrived later to help clear the aftermath of the storm, a job that’s still under way. Apache Junction’s Public Works Manager told 3TV it will take a couple of weeks to complete the cleanup, which includes road and pavement repairs.

Shane Kiesow of Public Works said flooding from some of the city’s main washes, including Weekes Wash, was some of the worst he’s ever seen. In light of the damage, he said city leaders will likely discuss what can be done to help future flood control.

In the meantime, with the current monsoon season still under way, Riggins is grateful for good friends and neighbors.

“That’s just what we do out here,” Riggins said. “We help each other in time of need.”

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