Monsoon 2022: Flagstaff residents brace for new round of flooding as they clean up from recent flood
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - As Flagstaff prepares for another round of flooding, they are still dealing with the aftermath of last weekend's storm.
"It's exhausting just to have the sandbags on site, but I know how important it is," said Cindy Wilson.
Wilson is placing hundreds of sandbags around her Flagstaff property. The sandbags are perfectly aligned to guide the water away from her house. It is something she hasn't had to do since flooding after the Shultz Fire in 2010.
"It's all about the angles," said Wilson. "You want to make sure that what you're doing is to move the water and not stop it, so, when we put barriers right up against our house, we're trying to stop it."
2022's monsoon season is already shaping up to be the worst Coconino County has seen in a decade, because the Pipeline Fire just re-burned the same area of the mountain as the Schultz Fire.
"When you get a very severe burn like that, you get a type of soil created called hydrophobic," said Lucinda Andreani with the Coconino County Flood Control District. "If you were to pour a glass of water on it, it would just run off it like you poured it on your kitchen counter."
There is no vegetation left to soak up the water, and 1.5in of rain that fell last weekend not only would not soak into the charred mountain, it began eroding away at it.
"That area up there, we call it an alluvial fan, or a fan. That has now unraveled. This is the result. All this rock. All this rock, debris has now come down," said Andreani.
Coconino County is working with some of the homeowners in Flagstaff to take the rocks that were deposited, move them, and use them in another area of the city that is also seeing erosion. However, if something is not done permanently, officials with the Coconino County Flood Control District say floods will continue to happen during every substantial rain in the next few years.
"There are 6ft to 10ft deep channels, and potentially through this season, they could grow to 25ft. That's what we saw after the Schultz Fire," said Andreani.