Pima Co. Flood Control: Preparing for monsoon a year-round task

Pima Co. Flood Control: Preparing for monsoon a year-round task
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The rain and storms, along with high winds and flooding, are a part of the monsoon with which many are familiar. In an effort to prepare Pima County waterways for those rains, storms, and floods, Pima County Regional Flood Control District has been preparing the washes all year, spending around $4 million on wash prep annually.

"It's a year-round occurrence so that when monsoon does roll around we're fully prepared to handle the flood waters," said Andy Dinauer, Deputy Director of the Pima County Regional Flood Control District.

The county flood control workers are out at washes across the county every work day ensuring that the washes are prepared for monsoon.

Their efforts start by using aerial mapping and topography to determine where excess sedimentation is in the washes. Based on that information they target areas to remove sediment or excavate so the washes can be restored to their original capacity for runoff.

When it comes to removing sediment and debris the Pima County Flood Control workers encounter a variety of things.

"Debris could be mattresses, could be appliances, a lot of tree clippings from folks that have done their yard work and have just thrown their clippings over the back wall," Dinauer said.

Flood control officials say they'll leave vegetation where it is if it doesn't hinder the course of the water.

Following the first few storms of the monsoon, the washes get more fully flushed out. That can typically cause more harm that good though, as any leftover material in the washes can cause clogging of drains and different water flow spots, ultimately leading to flooding.

Even with that on their minds, the Pima County Regional Flood Control District says they feel prepared and ready for monsoon 2018. And they plan to continue their work to keep the washes ready even after monsoon 2018 comes to an end.

"Post monsoon we'll go and we'll fix up any areas that may have been damaged. If there was any kind of sediment cement damage, embankment damage we'll handle those right after the monsoons."

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