County opening information center for New River flood victims

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NEW RIVER, Ariz. -- Maricopa County officials are opening a recovery information center for New River residents affected by recent monsoon flooding.

Coordinated by the county's emergency management department, the center aims to provide the public with answers and resources for various flood-related issues including road problems, sandbag needs, drinking water concerns and lost animals.

"The flooding created a great deal of damage and many people were affected," County Supervisor Andy Kunasek said in a statement. "There has been great work done by our flood control district, emergency management, the county transportation department and other departments. But the work is not finished, and the resource information center will help victims find help and get information for any unmet needs. We will continue to partner with a variety of community agencies."

County departments involved include emergency management, transportation, flood control, planning and development, animal care and control, and environmental services.

Private-sector relief agencies have also been invited.

The small community north of the Valley saw about five inches of rain on Aug. 19. Two women and three dogs were rescued by a technical rescue team when rushing water surrounded their home. In the wake of the flooding, residents were searching for their vehicles and animals and cleaning up their damaged properties.

"I have lived in Arizona all of my life. This was an unprecedented event, and it created unparalleled damage to roadways, homes, cars, animals and structures," Kunasek said. "However, I am tremendously proud that in this crisis, Maricopa County employees showed professionalism, competence, commitment and courage. We saw the valiant rescues and the long hours. As a result of their efforts, we are getting through this crisis without a single death or serious injury. That's a start."

The center will be located at Daisy Mountain Fire Station No. 141 at 43814 N. New River Rd. It will be open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents who are unable to visit the recovery information center can call 602-273-1411 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The City of Phoenix organized an information recovery center last weekend in Laveen, another area hit hard by the monsoon.