Gov. Doug Ducey declares state of emergency for flooding in Gila Bend

Aug 16, 2021, 11:22 AM
(Twitter photo/@Steve_Gallardo)...
(Twitter photo/@Steve_Gallardo)
(Twitter photo/@Steve_Gallardo)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday declared a state of emergency in Gila Bend after flooding killed two people and caused damage to property and roadways.

Mayor Chris Riggs and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said a man and a woman were killed in the flooding after 1.5 inches of rain fell in 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

As part of the state of emergency, $200,000 will be made available for response and recovery efforts.

“Heavy rainfall, monsoons and flooding put our communities in serious danger, and we are working to make sure first responders and local leaders have the resources they need to protect Arizonans,” Ducey said in a press release.

“It’s crucial that we address the fallout of this flooding immediately before this causes more harm to our communities.

“We knew that there would be challenges that come from monsoon season, and we are prepared to address this. Our number one priority remains protecting people, pets and property throughout Arizona.”

Matt Salmon, a former representative and candidate for governor, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s the Mike Broomhead Show the flood was devastating for the town and asked for people to aid in the cleanup effort.

He said supplies needed include brooms, mops, shovels, rakes, buckets, work gloves, tarps and ropes. People can drop off supplies at the Silver Star Theatre parking lot at 5247 E. Brown Road in Mesa from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Salmon said he will then deliver the supplies to Gila Bend.

People can also provide monetary donations to the cleanup effort online or at the parking lot, with Salmon saying all of the donations will go to purchase supplies for the cause.

“It’s devastating, if there ever was an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors, this is it,” Salmon said. “These folks really are suffering right now and they are in harm’s way.”

The monsoon storm also resulted in power outages, toppled trees, damage to roadway and drainage systems as well as forced the closure of State Route 238, which reopened Monday shortly before 11:30 a.m.

A temporary shelter was set up in a school gymnasium for the town of 2,000.

Riggs previously issued a state of emergency due to the flooding on Saturday.

Gila Bend is 51 miles southwest of Phoenix.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Gov. Doug Ducey declares state of emergency for flooding in Gila Bend