Flagstaff voters look toward bringing more aid to flood victims

Neighborhoods in the High Country continue to be surrounded by sandbags even after the monsoon
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:21 AM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The flood victims in the Flagstaff area might soon see more relief following this recent election.

Neighborhoods in the High Country continue to be surrounded by sandbags even after the monsoon. Many even have sandbags on standby in case they need even more.

Homes are surrounded to the point where some residents made makeshift stairs to help get over these walls. But, unfortunately, those who don’t have stairs have to climb over them.

Many who live in these areas are fed up. “We need something because this is unacceptable. I mean yeah, it’s protecting our houses, but we have to deal with these sandbags in the summer, they get slippery when they get wet, we fall over them when taking groceries into the house. It’s a hazard. I’ve tripped over them, I’ve had them collapse on me and fallen so yeah, it’s a solution but I hope it’s temporary,” said Scott Richards, who lives in north Flagstaff.

More relief is expected. Unofficial results from the recent midterm election for Flagstaff showed that 76% of voters voted “Yes” for Proposition 441.

It allows the city to use more than $57 million in bonds, which will go towards fire prevention, flood mitigation measures, and improved wastewater management.

Some work by the state has already been done in the burn scar areas to help prevent flooding. This year, the city also built an alert system that warns residents of the potential for flooding. Still, many residents like Richards feel it could take a couple of years before they feel comfortable removing the sandbags.

“My little piece of paradise has turned into a little bit of a nightmare just because I have to have the bags up, and they are probably good for two years until they start deteriorating and they start to fall apart.”