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Monsoon hits Flagstaff wildfire scars, causing major flooding, more rain to come

Powerful thunderstorms caused widespread flooding across Flagstaff Wednesday.

Highway 180 was temporarily closed at Sechrist Elementary School due to flooding across the road coming from the recent Pipeline Fire scar. Emergency sirens were activated in some Flagstaff neighborhoods below the Museum Fire burn scar as flood waters came down the mountain.

The National Weather Service is forecasting strong thunderstorms and heavy rain this evening and overnight with Flash Flood Watches in effect statewide. Storms are expected to continue through the weekend with daily flooding potential for neighborhoods in flood-prone areas due to recent wildfires.

A self-fill sandbag station is located in the lot just north of Coconino County Health and Human Services, 2625 King Street. Filled sandbags also are available at this location.

More information is on the county’s website,

Meanwhile, the City of Flagstaff has declared a State of Emergency due to the impacts of monsoon flooding in areas affected by this summer’s Pipeline Fire. Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy made the announcement Wednesday on behalf of the city.

Declaring a State of Emergency frees up additional resources to support disaster response, including grant assistance for costs associated with public infrastructure damage like debris removal, as well as emergency protective measures and the restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities.

The Declaration can be read at

Additionally, the Coconino Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the immediate transfer of $5 million from the General Fund’s emergency reserve to the County’s Flood Control District to address the ongoing costs of flood response and mitigation in the Schultz-Pipeline flood areas.

The funds will be used to respond to severe and repetitive post-wildfire flash flooding in multiple watersheds connected to the Schultz, Pipeline and Tunnel Fires. Flooding is currently impacting the areas of Timberline, Wupatki Trails and Doney Park, as well as the west side of Flagstaff and parts of east Flagstaff and Sunnyside.

County officials say mitigation needs are outpacing available funds. The $5 million from the General Fund is considered a loan.

he Flood Control District expects the continued costs of flood mitigation could exceed the costs associated with the aftermath of the 2010 Schultz Fire, which were nearly $6 million.