Flagstaff issues shelter-in-place orders due to possible flash flooding

Bret Henneman said almost everything inside his home, including furniture, appliances, and keepsakes, were all destroyed.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:24 AM MST|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 1:43 PM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — More shelter-in-place orders were issued Wednesday afternoon after Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy declared a state of emergency due to flooding that continues to impact areas near the previous site of the Pipeline Fire. That wildfire, which started on June 12, burned over 26,000 acres north of Flagstaff and created a burn scar that’s led to severe downstream flooding.

Only a few hours after the declaration, Flagstaff and the surrounding areas were once again under active flood warnings. A flash flood warning was issued for portions of Coconino County around noon Wednesday, including areas such as the Mount Elden Estates and Sunnyside. Coconino County Emergency Management says flash flooding is expected in the Museum Fire area and is asking residents to shelter in place.

Later, additional Flash Flood Warnings were issued. Flagstaff’s mayor posted on Twitter that people near Cheshire, Coconino Estates, Creighton Estates, Coyote Springs, Anasazi Ridge, and others near U.S. 180 should shelter in place.

Wednesday’s declaration of emergency makes the city of Flagstaff eligible for additional resources to support disaster response such as repairs and debris removal. “This gives us access to resources that we do need. I mean just operational costs during this period of all the people that are working the extra hours, all the construction companies that we need to contract to dig out culverts and protect homes, certainly gets expensive,” Mayor Deasy said.

Also on Wednesday, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the immediate transfer of $5 million to the county’s Flood Control District to help with costs associated with post-wildfire flash floods near the sites of the Pipeline, Schultz, and Tunnel fires. Flooding has been impacting the west side of Flagstaff, along with the Timberline, Wupatki Trails, and Doney Park areas.

Mayor Paul Deasy declared a State of Emergency due to flooding that continues to impact areas near the Pipeline Fire burn scar.

“We are currently living with our daughter-in-law around the corner, ‘cause our house is unlivable for at least three to five months. And yeah, every time it rains we’re protecting that house over there and then I come and check this one to see do I need to reinforce any areas on sandbags to keep the water out and the mud out,” Bret Henneman said. Henneman’s home was devastated by flooding 12 days ago. Almost everything inside, including their furniture, appliances, and keepsakes were all destroyed. Bret and his wife Cecilia have lived in the Doney Park home for 18 years and said it’s never even been at risk of flooding. They’re now in the flow of water coming off the Pipeline fire burn scar. “Horrible, it’s been a nightmare. I mean I haven’t even had time to grieve about my son much less, I’m sorry,” Cecilia said. The Henneman’s said they don’t have flood insurance. They’ve started a GoFundMe page.

“We need upwards of another 500,000 sandbags to meet the needs that have been identified by our engineering teams,” Flood Control District Administrator Lucinda Andreani said in a news release. “And we’re closing in on five miles of concrete barrier placed through the past weekend.”

Wednesday is another First Alert Weather Day across Arizona due to the potential for even more heavy rain and flooding. The National Weather Service has also extended a Flood Watch for the majority of the state through early Friday morning.

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