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Flagstaff residents face flooding from Museum Fire burn scar following monsoon rain

Rain over Flagstaff brought flooding to neighborhoods in the city both Tuesday and Wednesday.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — People in Flagstaff are dealing with flooding again Wednesday off the Museum Fire burn scar that burned evacuated homes in 2019.

On Tuesday, residents of the city’s east side neighborhoods had debris, water, mud and more come down their streets. It was the first time since the fire burned that those residents experienced flooding from the burn scar.

Preparing for two years 

Back in 2019 as the fire was burning there were threats of flooding for neighborhoods beneath the burn scar.

People filled sandbags in preparation. However, after two years of little monsoon activity, the rain was enough to cause significant flooding for Flagstaff neighborhoods.

“The street was just flowing,” Marisa Garcia, a Sunnyside resident said.

Garcia’s paved street looked like a dirt road on Wednesday as she showed 12 News around during a virtual interview.

“There was a lot of debris and a lot of mud so clean up today is really dusty like we’re on a dirt road now,” Garcia said.

Garica’s home was safe from the waters, however, she said her neighbors were impacted more.

15-year-old Lily Duncan and her dad, Jeff, captured the debris flows Tuesday as well.

“We saw it was just flooding the streets, people's houses,” Duncan said.

RELATED: Showers, storms expected across Arizona into Thursday; flash flood warning issued in Coconino County

Rain fell over part of the burn scar 

Coconino County officials said two inches of rain fell over just part of the Museum Fire burn scar Tuesday.

They said after two years of “non-soon” activity, it wasn’t clear what impacts would be seen in the city.

“There was some questioning as to whether we would see these flood events or not,” Andy Bertelsen, City of Flagstaff Public Works Director said.

As more rain is expected in the 2021 monsoon season, officials anticipate debris will continue to come off the burn scar.

“As we get events we will continue to get a certain amount of debris, a lot of mud sediment,” Lucinda Andreani, Coconino County’s Flood Control District Administrator said

As for Tuesday’s flooding, officials said because rain only fell over part of the burn scar, worse flooding events could be seen.

“We consider this a small to maybe a small- moderate flood event,” Andreani said. “We would expect to see a much greater event if we have rainfall over the entire burn scar.”

RELATED: Globe and Superior prepare for post-fire flooding due to Telegraph Fire

Flooding closes roads Wednesday 

Videos sent to 12 News show some cars in the middle of streets wading through floodwaters on Wednesday afternoon after more monsoon rain hit Flagstaff.

Coconino County advised Wednesday afternoon that several streets were closed in Flagstaff and the county because of the rain.

These streets will be closed until crews are able to assess them after the water goes down:

  • Linda Vista Drive at the Paradise channel
  • Cedar Avenue at West Street to 4th Street
  • Fallen Pine Trail
  • The 2500 block of East Linda Vista
  • 6th Avenue between 4th Street and West Street

There are a number of street closures in the city and Coconino County due to the heavy monsoonal rains today. These list...

Posted by Coconino County on Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Arizona Weather 

Arizona has seen its fair share of severe weather. Here is a compilation of videos from various storms across the Grand Canyon state.

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