SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The first in a serious of a dozen flood control projects in Scottsdale is underway around Cactus Road and 96th Street.
The city of Scottsdale, along with Maricopa County, will spend $86 million over the next five years to prepare the city for a 100-year flood. The city says if a 100-year flood occurred, sending 1,000 cubic feet per second down the wash, more than 700 structures are at risk.
The Upper Camelback Wash project should be completed by fall, and has big machinery digging deeper drainage systems, holding basins and putting in bigger culverts.
The city says back in 2005 more than 30 homes flooded in a huge rain storm and if they don't do the project, FEMA will declare the area a flood plain and more than 700 homeowners will have to get flood insurance.
Most residents living along the torn-up wash where lush mesquite trees once lined running paths agree the project was necessary and don't mind the huge tractors and heavy equipment going all day long in their quiet neighborhood. However, some residents who have lived there for years and their homes have never flooded say the project is a waste of taxpayer money and the loss of vegetation in the area is not worth it.