Mesa mayor speaks about flooding as cleanup continues

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Major cleanup continues in a flooded neighborhood near the U.S. 60 and Stapley Drive in Mesa.

The mayor was out there Wednesday morning, speaking about the city's response efforts.

There's no quick and easy fix to a flooding problem of this magnitude, but in just the last 24 hours the area looks completely different.

Crews started pumping water out of the area with large machines on Tuesday. With retention basins past maximum capacity, the city started moving water west, toward the Salt River.

City services removed the majority of water from the streets in the Harris/Stapley neighborhood by 2 a.m. Wednesday and Salt River Project has restored power to all of the homes.

The city is working on a recovery plan to help families in the area and throughout the city. Approximately 200 homes in Mesa experienced flood damage from Monday's storm.

The mayor made it very clear that every resource possible is dedicated to helping the people who desperately need it.

Flooded homeowners have a lot of questions. Why did this area flood hours after the storm stopped? Why did it take the city an entire day before homeowners say they started getting water out of there?

"There was a little bit of criticism, 'Where were you?'" Mayor Alex Finter said. "We were rescuing hundreds of children out of this school. We had a pregnant woman, nine months pregnant, in contractions that we had to evacuate out of the neighborhood. We had elderly and infirm people that we were literally putting into a boat and taking them out to rescue them. So all the emphasis was on rescue. ... Then we turned that effort to OK, how do we minimize the flood damage?"

Crews have been out there doing that ever since.

Officials now are going to try to determine what went wrong and figure out ways to prevent it from happening again.

The Mesa Resource Information Center is in operation at Fire Station 202 at 830 S. Stapley Drive. The center is available to any Mesa resident needing recovery information and certain supplies related to the flood. Staff at the Mesa Resource Information Center can be contacted at 480-644-2800 or mesaric@mesaaz.gov.  With the power being restored in homes, the Broadway Recreation Center has been closed as an evacuation location.

Volunteers are being dispatched to the Harris/Stapley neighborhood to assist residents with the cleanup effort. There are also 30 roll-off bins in the neighborhood to dispose of large items.

The city of Mesa is working with Mesa United Way to provide assistance to residents whose homes and possessions were damaged or destroyed by the flood. You can donate online at www.mesaunitedway.org. Click on Help Mesa Flood Victims.

RELATED:

Flooded Mesa neighborhood may take weeks to recover

Mesa families evacuate flooded neighborhood

Up to 100 homes in Mesa threatened by floodwaters