Parts of Coconino County brace for monsoon storms and flooding

Flagstaff residents began putting sandbags around their homes as more rain is expected to come down on Tuesday.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 9:30 PM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Those that live in and around Flagstaff are bracing for another round of storms that could bring a chance of serious flooding. Coconino County officials said about 1,500 homes are at risk, including the Doney Park community. With strong storms over the last week and a half, some homeowners have already had flooding. The county has been handing out sandbags to people to help them prepare.

About 60 members of the National Guard remain in the Flagstaff area, and their focus has been on filling sandbags. The county said they’ve done about 500,000, but they’re hoping to have three times that. It’s not just these storms in the next couple of days. This is likely to be an issue for years. “I’ve been in Doney Park almost 40 years, and this is the first time we’ve ever had flooding issues,” Yvonne Dolin, a homeowner, said. “Protect my house. That’s all I’m thinking about and keeping it safe for my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. I do have great-grandchildren,” she continued.

Then there’s Linda Ayres, who’s lived in her home for 20 years. “We’ve got a double whammy going on. Flooding from the hill coming right down here and when we get big rain, we have nothing to hold it back,” she said. “When it flowed the first time it didn’t come down this far, and we were never in the flood zone, flood plain. Anyway we got flood insurance,” Ayres explained.

Ayres is grateful to the community who stepped up to help put sandbags around her home after learning her husband recently had a heart attack. The mayor of Flagstaff said he’s concerned for his city too. He walked Arizona’s Family through the Stevanna Way neighborhood. “The concern here is really the topography, so this is kind of a bowl. Residents have dung a trench, in Stuvnia Way just south of here, that gets it to the Rio de Flag, which is our main thoroughfare,” Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy said. “We’re facing so many flooding issues in this city right now. It keeps people up at night. You hear those rains coming down and it’s so much different than before,” he continued.

Dozens of National Guard members put together half a million sandbags for Flagstaff homeowners concerned about flooding.