Ducey issues emergency declaration after Coconino County flooding
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued a declaration of emergency Friday after flood waters swept through Coconino County earlier in the week.
Up to $200,000 is available for response efforts as heavy rains drenched Flagstaff beginning on Tuesday.
“Severe post-wildfire flooding is creating dangerous challenges for communities in Northern Arizona,” Ducey said in a press release. “The flooding is causing road closures, damaging property and putting Arizonans’ safety at risk.”
Coconino County Emergency Management officials issued a shelter-in-place order Wednesday afternoon for the area around the 2019 Museum Fire area, warning residents to move to higher ground and not to enter flood waters.
Water from the storms was powerful enough to sweep a compact car away in a Flagstaff neighborhood.
The emergency office said more than 2.5 inches of rain deluged the ground east of Flagstaff.
Flagstaff likely can recoup some of the costs for responding to and repairing flood damage related to wildfires under a recent state law. Cities also can be reimbursed for providing emergency shelter and support for people who are displaced, but it does not allow spending to repair individual homes.
The threat of flash flooding will remain through next week, the National Weather Service said, though the coverage will be more scattered than widespread.
“The moisture is not going anywhere, and it will heat up as well, so those are perfect ingredients for thunderstorms in the afternoon and evenings in Arizona,” said Evan LaGuardia, a meteorologist in Flagstaff.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.