Federal Government To Cover 75% Of Northern Arizona Flood Recovery Costs

Sep 14, 2021

President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for parts of Arizona impacted by flash flooding. It opens up increased federal funding and other assistance for areas hit hard during this year’s monsoon season. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Volunteers clear mud outside Ponderosa Baptist Church in Flagstaff's Sunnyside neighborhood in August. As of last week, more than 250 homes in the city had been impacted and flooding had caused over $12.5 million in damage to public and private property. A major disaster declaration signed by President Joe Biden Monday will cover 75% of recovery costs to public infrastructure in Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties.
Credit Angela Gervasi / KNAU

On Monday President Biden ordered relief to Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’ll supplement local recovery efforts following floods between July 22 and 24 during severe monsoon storms that inundated homes, washed out roads and caused other damage throughout the region.

According to the White House, federal dollars will go to state, tribal and local governments along with nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis. FEMA will reimburse three-quarters of recovery costs with the state paying for 15% and local governments will pick up 10%. The order also funds hazard mitigation efforts, and officials say additional designations could be made in the future.

Governor Doug Ducey requested the federal declaration earlier this month and had previously issued two of his own emergency orders.

In Flagstaff alone, flash flooding below the Museum Fire burn scar and elsewhere in the city damaged hundreds of homes and caused millions of dollars in damage to private and public property.