Evacuation orders lifted in Sedona; floodwaters remain high
Sedona residents who were evacuated this morning due to flooding on Oak Creek can now return their homes, but officials warn them to remain ready to leave again if necessary. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, Oak Creek and the Verde River are still surging with rain and snow but show signs of ebbing.
It’s the second time in eight days that communities in Sedona were evacuated due to flooding.
Lauren Browne, spokesperson for the City of Sedona, says, "I think what’s important to remember is, while we haven’t seen any damage to homes yet, I know that water has come up to that level right next to the house. Just be careful, because there are lots of low water crossings." She warns residents attempting to return to their homes not to cross flooded roadways.
Social media videos show water surging in Oak Creek alongside the Briar Patch Inn, but employee Capri Curtis says the inn is still open for business. "It’s pretty high, it’s raging for sure, and quite wide as well—but we are not flooding here yet, as we have such a high bank, thank God," she says.
The U.S. Geological Survey stream gauge on Oak Creek registered a jump from four feet of water early Tuesday morning to a peak flow of more than 13 feet at 6am today. Meanwhile, the Verde River gauge showed a sudden rise from 9 feet on Tuesday afternoon to 19 feet that same evening.
Flood warnings from the National Weather Service remain in effect along both waterways.