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Crews complete Schultz Pass detention basins to mitigate Flagstaff flooding

Detention basins Flagstaff
City of Flagstaff
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A series of three detention basins with a combined capacity of 56 acre-feet, or more than 18 million gallons, was constructed near Schultz Pass to reduce flooding from the 2022 Pipeline Fire on the San Francisco Peaks.

Crews have finished construction on a series of detention basins in Flagstaff designed to lessen post-wildfire flooding. It follows this summer’s Pipeline Fire that scorched several watersheds on the San Francisco Peaks.

The three basins will have a total capacity of 56 acre-feet, or more than 18 million gallons. They’re designed to collect runoff during monsoon storms and slowly let water drain over about 24 hours in order to reduce flooding and debris flows in west Flagstaff neighborhoods.

The basins were designed and constructed over three months on city-owned land near Schultz Pass. The area was the site of several heavy floods triggered by the 26,500-acre Pipeline Fire that burned nine watersheds on the Peaks.

City officials say even with the basins flood danger remains, and they recommend residents keep sandbags and other temporary mitigation in place.

The project was largely funded by a nearly 2-and-a-half-million-dollar grant from the federal Emergency Watershed Protection Project. The City of Flagstaff and the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management also contributed funds.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers 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 frequent contributor to NPR.