Sun, Aug. 18

Valley survives another flood

VVN/Steves Ayers

Homes along Bates Road in the Bridgeport area were among the first to be evacuated.

The usual list of low lying areas were hit for a second time in just six weeks as between two and three inches fell and the river rose to a reported 19 to 23 feet above flood stage.

Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Roial Armstrong reported that the Verde River crested at the Clarkdale gauging station around 5:30 am on Saturday, with a flow of 26,700 cubic feet per second (cfs).

By 9:30 Saturday the flow had fallen off to 21,500 –– a small consolation for homeowners in the Bates Road, Rocking Chair Road and Comanche Drive areas in Cottonwood. The three flooded areas were the same ones hit by flooding in late December.

Evacuations on Bates Road began at 3:45 a.m., followed by more evacuations in the Suburban Mobile Home Park and Blue Sky off of Rocking Chair road around 4 a.m.

"There was an impressive effort by local businesses when we asked for assistance." said Armstrong.

"Wal-Mart opened up for a temporary shelter and served coffee and Fry's and Bashas’ both chipped in food and beverages until we got the Red Cross Shelter up and running," said Armstrong.

The Red Cross emergency shelter was set up around 8 a.m. in the Mingus High School Gymnasium.

Armstrong reported that a woman even stopped by and delivered a batch of home made muffins.

Flows in Oak Creek also crested around 5:30 a. m. on Saturday at approximately 12,300 cfs, but had subsided to 9,300 by 8 a.m.

The Verde River at Camp Verde, however, was still rising at noon, although there were signs it was beginning to crest.

Once again, the hardest hit areas were around Fort Lincoln Estates and Grippen Road West. Homes that had yet to recover from the December flooding were under water again.

Verde Lakes was also getting its usual share of flooding and road closures.

"The sand bags didn't hold this time either," said homeowner Roger Iossi whose home off of Grippen Road West is still gutted, and whose dumpster is still in the lawn, from December's clean up.

Camp Verde Marshals reported rescuing a woman and three children from a new double wide on Chuck Devine Road when it began to be surrounded by a moat.

As of noon Saturday there were no reports of injuries by any departments in the Verde Valley, but a number of homeowners in the Camp Verde are were stranded on the wrong side of the swollen streams.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department reported additional strandings in the Ash Fork and Black Canyon City areas. They had also responded to a lost hunter in the Bagdad area, but he had been located by Saturday morning and was being brought in.