Flagstaff tests new siren system to alert residents of a possible flood

Residents who are at risk of flooding in Flagstaff get alerts on their phones telling them to take cover –  and now there's an additional way now to learn about the possible risk.

City officials say they've been hearing a lot of people in the area don't have access to certain technology, so a siren is meant to help alert those without technology, or those who just may not be around it at the time an alert is sent.

It's a sound meant to save lives and property.

The city of Flagstaff is testing out its new siren system meant to warn people about flash floods as flooding is expected in the Museum Fire burn scar area.

"Provide that notification, particularly for children to know to not be playing. It's time to get inside," explained Flagstaff Mayor, Paul Deasy.

After 2019's Museum Fire created a burn scar, flooding turned streets into rivers and many people started lining their yards with sandbags to keep the water out.

Henry Valdivia lived in Flagstaff all his life and says, "We blocked the gate, blocked it over there." This was the first time he'd ever had an issue with flooding.

"Trash, logs, everything was just coming down," he said.

The blaring siren can be heard from miles around to warn people of a possible flood. Mayor Deasy says he's hopeful it will help make people feel safe.

"We have a lot of people with post-traumatic stress sitting behind sandbags knowing their kids might be out when the rain hits. It reminds them of what might be coming. It will not only make them safe, but make them feel comfortable in their own homes," he said.

The city will continue with its other alerting measures such as email and by phone. The siren is an addition, not a replacement.