Share this story...
Latest News

Unlicensed contractors taking advantage of Phoenix flood victims

PHOENIX — Homeowners in south Phoenix have been dealing with water, mud and damage for two weeks after the area was hit hard by floods.

They’re not out of the woods yet. On Monday, a fire official said affected homeowners are facing a new threat: scammers.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Benjamin Santillan said he has heard reports of unlicensed contractors requesting money from elderly victims on fixed incomes and victims without flood insurance who are already anxious about where to turn to repair their homes.

“They’ve been stopping by our recovery operation center here and they’ve told us that individuals are stopping by homes and asking for $300 or more and came back asking for more,” he said. “Requesting money for work that isn’t being done correctly. Some people are already hundreds of dollars deep. It’s devastating to hear that someone would go out and take advantage of people.”

The recovery operation center at Phoenix Fire Station 57 at 17th Avenue and Dobbins Road is scheduled to be open until 7 p.m. Monday.

During the storm, 3.55 inches fell in a 24-hour period in the South Mountain area, the National Weather Service said.

It seemed like more to Michael Gallegos and his wife. He said a three-foot wall of water rushed off the mountain Aug. 12 toward his house at 27th Avenue and Dobbins. There was nothing he could do to stop the flow.

The next day, the first floor of the two-story house was covered in mud. They were in the process of remodeling the home where they’ve lived for three years. Now they’ll have to start over.

“It really hits you in the gut,” Gallegos said. The first floor was in shambles and the yard was destroyed but they’ll try to rebuild, he said.

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.