2 million sandbags deployed in Flagstaff as residents brace for potential flooding

About 2 million pounds of sandbags were placed in preparation of monsoon storms in Flagstaff.
About 2 million pounds of sandbags were placed in preparation of monsoon storms in Flagstaff.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 12:59 PM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Around 2 million sandbags have been filled and placed in the Flagstaff area. After battling flooding earlier this month and the threat from recent rains, neighborhoods took steps to prepare.

Piles of sandbags line the streets and property in high-risk areas. Aside from the sandbags, the city installed sirens. Four of them are in the museum burn scar areas. They are linked to a rain gauge which will automatically go off after a certain amount of rain. Those sirens deliver messages in both English and Spanish. In addition, a text message is also sent out to the community, letting them know to get to higher ground.

Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy told Arizona’s Family that despite the devastation from the previous flooding, the community has always rallied together. “The fact is, is that when this stuff is going on, its neighbors who are helping put those sandbags out to meet those two million near sandbags that are placed in our greater community that was not done by the government alone. That was the blood, sweat and tears of so many volunteers. 1000s of people in our community coming together to help each other to build these barriers,” said Deasy.

Last year, the city spent $15 million on infrastructure projects to reduce the potential for damage from stormwater. They built a retention pond at Caleb elementary school. And Flagstaff officials are now pushing for a $26 million proposition geared toward more stormwater infrastructure projects.

“There’s at least some of these folks living behind five foot barriers worth of sandbags plus. That’s no way to live. So we’re hoping to get the $26 million in this proposition to get more mitigation measures taken care of. However in the museum fire flood scar area alone, just the one fire from 2019, We’re talking over $100 million worth of infrastructure that we need to do to get back to even some level of normalcy,” said Deasy.