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Rio de Flag Flood Control Receives Federal Funds

The City of Flagstaff will receive more than a million dollars of federal money for Rio de Flag flood control. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the money will go toward fixing a defective basin built five years ago.

For its 2014 budget, the Army Corps of Engineers announced the allocation of $1.6 million to repair the 71-acre Clay Avenue Wash Detention Basin. The Arizona Daily Sun reports the basin would collect much of the water funneled out of the city by the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project in the event of a 100-year flood. The project is designed to reduce flood damage to Northern Arizona University’s Mountain Campus, I-40, Route 66, the railroad and the Southside. According to Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours, the project is vital to protect the city in the event of the Rio de Flag producing a significant flood.

Mayor Nabours, Vice Mayor Coral Evans and others traveled to Washington D.C., last week in an attempt to secure funds. They met with flood project supporters Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake as well as representatives Ann Kirkpatrick and Paul Gosar. The group also met with officials from the Army Corps of Engineers.

In 2009, several cracks attributed to construction and design flaws were found in the newly built basin. Repairs were estimated at $6 million. Finishing the flood control project will require more than $50 million.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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