Cochise County residents bracing for monsoon

Cochise County residents bracing for monsoon

SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The rains that spell relief for so many Arizona residents bring in a flood of concern for many residents living in Cochise County.

Many residents are bracing for the storms by placing sand bags around their property.  Those especially concerned, are residents living in rural areas with private roads that are not maintained by the County.

Residents living off South Paloma Trail in Palominas were stranded for more than two weeks last summer, when heavy rains washed out the only road leading out of their community.

All that was left was a narrow piece of concrete that residents could walk across, but there was no way to drive around it.

A resident with a backhoe helped fill the area with dirt and patched up the road, but another round of rain would wash away all the effort.

In the last year, residents in the area have formed the South Paloma Trail association, and raised funds to hire someone to grade the road.  The U.S. border patrol has also stepped in and helped fill up the area and create a road, as it is an area heavily traveled by border patrol agents.  Residents said agents needed to use that road to get to the cameras they had set up, near the border fence.

Palominas residents Robert Schumacher and Marie Boston said they were bracing for the storms by parking one vehicle on either side of the road.  Boston said every time she heard rain, she felt fear.

"I think goodbye road.  Whenever the rain comes it takes it out.  I'm thinking how are we going to get to work again?" said Boston.

Residents have pleaded with the county to take over the responsibility of fixing their roads and have been told they could get help if they got the road up to county code.

Residents said they had been told it could cost up to $350,000 to bring it up to code.

"Nobody here has that kind of money," said Boston.

Cochise county officials said those who lived in flood prone areas could get sandbags for free.

County officials said they did not have the manpower to fill and load sandbags, but they would be providing sandbags and sand to anyone in need. Residents are asked to bring their own shovel.

Starting Wednesday July 2nd, sand and sandbags will be available at the following locations and will be replenished as needed:

From the hours of 7:00 am to 3:00 pm:

Bisbee Roadyard, 1229 Hereford Rd.

Douglas Roadyard, 3665 N. Leslie Canyon Rd.

Willcox Roadyard, 500 W. Railroad Avenue

Benson Roadyard, 901 E. 4th Street

Elfrida Roadyard, 3988 W. Thompson Road

Cochise County Hereford Pit Material Yard: approximately .5 miles East of Y Lighting Road – This location has limited hours during the work week. It would be best if arrangements were made by calling 520-432-9300.

Sandbags are available at any time from the following locations:

Coronado Lakes Estates (Douglas) — off Cipriano Dr. at the Water Tanks

Willow Lakes Subdivision (Benson) — at the Water Tank

Elfrida Fire Department, 10293 N. Central Highway

Whetstone Fire Department, 2422 N. Firehouse Ln., Huachuca City

Palominas Fire Station #3, 10202 E. Highway 92, Hereford

Portal Rescue, 1216 W. Portal Road

(Due to space limitations at this location, sand is only available at the intersection of Foothills Rd. and Portal Rd.)