Devastating Floods in Arizona in the News

In July 2021, several parts of Arizona were seriously hit with massive flooding. The city of Flagstaff, located among North Arizona’s mountains and “considered a gateway to the Grand Canyon,” was mostly affected as floodwaters caused by monsoon rains have swept through its streets, turning them “into murky, fast-running streams.” It goes without saying that the stormwaters impacted people’s property and caused road closures. However, more serious destructions were limited due to the following of guidelines by all officials responsible for emergency management.

First of all, on the basis of awareness guideline 1, first responders were generally aware of the disaster and recognized that it had occurred regardless of its larger scope. As this area is continuously hit with flooding, according to the evidence provided by US National Weather Service in Flagstaff, Arizona, local authorities are prepared for potential disasters. In addition, in April, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delivered preliminary flood maps for Flagstaff and parts of Coconino County to accurately reflects and mitigate risks. Thus, an emergency at the state level was directly declared by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, “making available up to $200,000 for response efforts.”

According to awareness guideline 2, first responders should know the incident’s basic protocols to provide the most efficient response. First of all, the National Weather Service immediately issued a flash flood warning for the residents of Flagstaff and the nearest areas. In addition, first responders had and knew how to use emergency equipment as stated in awareness guidelines 5 and 6. In Flagstaff, prefilled sandbags and barriers started to be used to divert street water runoff, and additional stations were open where sandbags were available as well.

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