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Flagstaff to test flood alert sirens Thursday

A newly installed emergency flood alert siren in the Sunnyside neighborhood in Flagstaff.
Melissa Sevigny
An emergency flood alert siren in the Sunnyside neighborhood in Flagstaff.

The City of Flagstaff will test its East Side flood alert sirens on Thursday morning. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the siren’s warning message will now broadcast in Navajo as well as English and Spanish.

Residents of the Sunnyside and Grandview neighborhoods will hear an alarm sound followed by a voice message warning of imminent floods, repeated in three languages.

The siren may repeat several times during the testing period from 9am to 10am.

The system was installed by the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County last year in response to community requests. It activates when just over an inch of rain falls on the Museum Fire burn scar within the span of fifteen minutes to warn residents to seek higher ground.

The 2019 Museum Fire drastically alerted the floodplain of Flagstaff’s east side and contributed to devastating summer floods in 2021.

Residents can also sign up for emergency notifications via phone, text, or email on Coconino County’s website.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.