Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

US Senate passes western flood and drought mitigation legislation

Winslow Levee
Navajo County
The project to rebuild the Winslow Levee has been ongoing for 20 years and would protect Winslow from persistent flooding on the Little Colorado River. In 2008, the Federal Emergency Management Agency decertified the system, which added 1,500 more structures to the floodplain that now includes almost every one of Winslow’s homes, businesses, schools and hospitals in a 100-year flood zone.

The U.S. Senate has approved a bipartisan bill designed to shore up drought mitigation and flood control projects in Arizona.

The Water Resources Development Act passed as part of the annual must-pass National Defense Authorization Act.

The measure would expedite the long-delayed Winslow Levee Project that would project communities near Winslow from persistent flooding on the Little Colorado River.

The bill would also speed up completion of the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project in Flagstaff which has also been stalled for decades.

The legislation would streamline several other groundwater management and drought mitigation projects throughout the state as the entire region faces a decades-long drought.

In addition, the bill shifts 100% of the cost share of cleaning up abandoned uranium mines on tribal lands to the federal government.