520 Ahwatukee homes, businesses at risk for flooding, study finds

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The City of Phoenix will soon warn hundreds of people in Ahwatukee that their homes or businesses are at an elevated risk of flooding and will encourage them to get flood insurance. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The City of Phoenix will soon warn hundreds of people in Ahwatukee that their homes or businesses are at an elevated risk of flooding and will encourage them to get flood insurance. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A recently completed three-year study by the Maricopa County Flood Control District identified 520 homes, businesses and commercial buildings that are located in flood-prone areas. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A recently completed three-year study by the Maricopa County Flood Control District identified 520 homes, businesses and commercial buildings that are located in flood-prone areas. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A 10-year flood, meaning a flood that has a 10 percent chance of happening in any given year, could cause $5 million in damage to those properties, said Flood Control District Project Manager Valerie Swick. A 100-year flood could cause (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A 10-year flood, meaning a flood that has a 10 percent chance of happening in any given year, could cause $5 million in damage to those properties, said Flood Control District Project Manager Valerie Swick. A 100-year flood could cause (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The City of Phoenix will soon warn hundreds of people in Ahwatukee that their homes or businesses are at an elevated risk of flooding and will encourage them to get flood insurance.

A recently completed three-year study by the Maricopa County Flood Control District identified 520 homes, businesses and commercial buildings that are located in flood-prone areas.

A 10-year flood, meaning a flood that has a 10 percent chance of happening in any given year, could cause $5 million in damage to those properties, said Flood Control District Project Manager Valerie Swick. A 100-year flood could cause $11.5 million in damage to those areas, she said.

But even though city and county leaders are now aware of the scope and the extent of flooding danger zones, they acknowledge there is little funding available to permanently address the problems.

The City will send out notices to the property owners within the next two weeks to warn them that flooding damage is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. It takes 30 days for a newly purchased flood insurance plan to take effect, Swick said. 

The Flood Control District identified 21 flood-prone areas throughout Ahwatukee. Of those, the district identified six at the greatest risk.

  • Cottonwood Lane and 41st Street
  • Dry Creek Road and 35th Place
  • Ray Road and Ranch Circle (west)
  • Ranch Circle and 36th Street
  • 44th Street and Ponca Street
  • Kiowa Street and Mandan Street
  • Cheyenne Drive and 51st Street

The district developed permanent landscaping and run-off solutions to mitigate the flood risk at those six areas. However, fixing all six would cost about $7 million, according to Swick.

Swick said there is only enough funding available to address one area. The district has begun seeking grants for a project at Kiowa and Mandan streets. That project will cost about $1 million, she said.

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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