SRP answers questions about South Mountain flooding


by Jaime Cerreta

Bio | Email | Follow: @CerretaNews

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 22 at 6:13 AM

PHOENIX-- After the rain fell at South Mountain last week, anger rose.

Residents with flooded homes near 19th Avenue and Dobbins Road are upset with the city, the county and the Salt River Project.

SRP says it is a victim of the storm as well. "The storm that hit on Aug.12 was probably the most expensive storm to SRP's water system as far as damage in the last 25 years," said spokesman Jeff Lane.

He says it was 3 inches of storm water, not irrigation water, that flooded homes.

SRP conducted an investigation into what happened that night and told a group of neighbors Tuesday it was not responsible for the damage to their homes.

"There was a lot of reasons for that kind of flooding to occur and mainly it's Mother Nature. It's an act of God," Lane said.

According to Lane, the canals worked perfectly that night but sustained some damage in the storm. There was cement-lining damage and erosion to the overwhelmed system. Lane says his crew let the water out of the canals an hour ahead of the storm.

And as frustrated neighbors clean up their homes, SRP is cleaning too.

"Some people that were complaining about the SRP canals, you know, if those canals were not there, even though they're not designed for flood control ... the damage probably would have been more severe than it was," Lane said.