This Week Flagstaff Could Get Rain And Flash Flooding Safety Tips

In the upcoming days, the Flagstaff region and much of northern Arizona are likely to experience a wide variety of monsoon activity. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Paige Swenson, the rain that began falling in Flagstaff in the middle of the day on Monday may stop by the end of the night, but it may potentially last until Tuesday morning and then all day. At 3:20 p.m., the National Weather Service and Coconino County issued a flash flood warning that would last at least until 6:15 p.m. because of the unexpected increase in rainfall.

Areas around Northern Arizona University and in south Flagstaff received one to three quarters of an inch of rain in less than two hours on Monday. This resulted in a busy section of Milton Road and Route 66 temporarily flooding, which forced traffic to slow to a crawl as vehicles navigated the water-filled highways. Even though only a tiny amount of rain fell on Monday afternoon, it was enough to muck up much of U.S. 89 heading north out of Flagstaff, where floods forced a road closure on July 14. The places most at danger for post-wildfire flooding avoided the worst of the storm.

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We haven’t noticed a significant respite in the monsoon activity throughout this period, which has been a slight shift so far this year, according to Swenson. The most recent downpour occurs as storm clouds loom above and thousands of homes and businesses in the Flagstaff area attempt to recover from recent flash flooding. The Arizona Army National Guard, numerous volunteers, and the Coconino County Flood Control District have been working together over the past few weeks to fill and distribute tens of thousands of sandbags throughout the neighborhood.

Despite some light rain over the weekend, this flood mitigation will probably get significantly heavier rain this week. Flash flooding is undoubtedly going to have an impact, especially in regions close to recent burn scars, according to Swenson.The neighboring Pipeline and Museum Fire burn scars, which bring with them ash and debris and can be dangerous, have caused serious flooding in the Doney Park, Fernwood, Timberline, and Wupatki Trails neighborhoods so far this year.

A new siren alarm system was put in place for the communities downwind of the Museum Fire burn scar in June by the City of Flagstaff, the Coconino County Flood Control District, and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. It’s unlikely that rain will fall continuously across several counties. The weather service predicted “pop-up” storms in the Valley throughout the week, with small-area thunderstorms that they claimed would be challenging to forecast. At least until the middle of the week, it will be quite sporadic, according to Bianca Feldkircher of the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

How can I keep secure?

The following advice was posted online by Coconino County officials, who cautioned citizens to be ready for the impending storms and potential flooding hazard. They also advised households to sign up for emergency alerts and to always remember to be prepared for crises.

  • Prepare for both evacuation and local sheltering.
    If the authorities advise it, evacuate.
    Stay on high ground or seek it out (flash floods).
    Avoid driving or walking in floodwaters.
    Never try to escape through floodwaters. Because depth and speed are not always clear and because the ground or a road could suddenly wash away, there may also be hidden threats.
    Avoid getting hurt by debris, polluted water, carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, and destroyed infrastructure and structures.
    Buy flood insurance to shield your property from floodwaters.
    Before entering flooded buildings, have the structures and utilities reviewed or inspected by an expert.

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