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Officials Preparing for Oak Creek Emergencies

U.S. Forest Service

As a result of last year’s slide fire, the threat of flooding in Oak Creek canyon remains high during monsoon season. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, Coconino County officials are using an emergency siren system and short-range radio transmitters to communicate potential threats to the public.  

The radio STATS will be placed at both ends of Oak Creek Canyon, and will broadcast emergency information on some AM frequencies. Robert Rowley is the Coconino County Emergency Management Director.

“The message in general states that there is an elevated threat for flash flooding and debris flow in the canyon due to the slide fire. And if they hear the siren what they need to do, what emergency precautions they need to take,” said Rowley.

Officials will test the sirens today. Rowley hopes that’ll raise awareness of the flash flooding potential in Oak Creek this summer.

“When you’re in the canyon or recreating in the canyon, just be aware of your surroundings, be aware of the weather, and make sure you’re in a position to receive a flash flood warning if one is issued,” said Rowley.

Rowley says though the threat is reduced from last year, Oak Creek Canyon still has the highest chance for flash flooding in the county. Officials also recommend signing up with the emergency notification system, Code Red. 

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