Groups working to protect burned areas from monsoon floodingPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Monument Fire destroyed homes, businesses and vegetation near and around Sierra Vista.
Now flooding is a problem in the area because there's no vegetation to soak up the rain.
The smell of fire is gone, residents are back in their homes, but the land is still charred as if the fire happened a few days ago.
The burned area emergency response team is working closely with the natural resources conservation service to slowly bring the forest back.
First they must control the water.
"It just slammed in the backdoor went in throughout the whole bottom floor and took everything out on the bottom floor. It was about two and a half feet in the house so everything is ruined," said homeowner Mary Means.
Mary and her husband were at their son's wedding in Wisconsin when the rains and floods hit earlier this month.
The home they built more than 30 years ago is now covered in mud.
"At first it was shocking and now its kind of like you just got to be at peace with it. It's what life deals out sometimes you know," said Means.
Not only are the folks that live on the mountains feeling the effects of the rain and the flooding, folks right across the street on 92 say water was rushing towards their homes.
"It kind of sounded like a freight train coming down the canyon, large boulders, I mean boulders the size of Volkswagen bugs," said homeowner Randy Keiller.
It was a scary moment for Keiller and his family as they watched from a window.
"Especially when it rushes up by the side of your house throughout your out building and very scary we didn't know whether to stay or take off," said Keiller.
The Burned Area Emergency Response, the National Resource Conservation Service and others have been working hard to protect the houses. Their solution -- using heavy equipment to clear channels, placing sandbags and jersey barriers to divert the water.
"Were hoping that they provide resistance against the rocks plus deflect the water into the channel," said Lou Catallini with the NRCS.
Residents say they're confident the barriers will keep the water from their homes.