FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The remnants of the Museum Fire have neighborhoods in Flagstaff on high alert now that monsoon storms are picking up in the area.

“I hope, of course, [it] will not happen but, of course, we here have to be prepared,” said George Auklm, a Sunnyside resident for 27 years.

[WATCH: Flagstaff community affected by Museum Fire on high alert for flash flooding

Residents in the Sunnyside neighborhood are of those who are on high alert. 

“We had a good thunderstorm today. I’m surprised it [Museum Fire remnants] didn’t run” said Bill Blackford, a Sunnyside resident for 47 years.

With every drop of rain, the potential for flooding looms for their neighborhood thanks to the burn scar created by the Museum Fire.

“There have been burn areas in the past that have flooded significantly with significant property damage. So yeah, I’m concerned” said Bruce Schwartz, a rental property owner in Sunnyside.

Schwartz's tents called him worried. So, he came to the open house to get answers from city and county officials.

“I’m going to purchase flood insurance as advised by the county,” said Schwartz.

“We have a lot of people concerned about what will this water look like. Is this deep water? Fast water? And how far out is this going to go?” said Eric Peterson, PIO for Coconino County.

This was the fifteenth open house the city and county had to talk with residents one-on-one about safety plans since the Museum Fire started on July 21.

Dortha Avenue is one of many streets blocked off with sandbags and concrete barricades in the Sunnyside neighborhood, the city of Flagstaff hoping to control where the water goes if torrential rains hit the area.

“We can have rain that shows up in 10 minutes. And, in 15 minutes, we can have floodwaters roaring down those channels” said Peterson.

If that happens, emergency alerts will go out to cell phones to let people know the danger heading their way and what to do.

“Don’t try to go into the water. Don’t drive [a] car through the water. Shelter in a place, and know where your children are," said Peterson.

Sunnyside residents have other concerns than flooding.

“I want to see my neighborhood as nice as it was before,” said Auklm.

Peterson says they can expect four to five years of flood activity that will need mitigation and preparation for the neighborhood.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you