Crews prep Tucson-area washes before monsoon flooding

Crews work to clean washes before floods

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Crews in Tucson and Pima County are racing to clean up area washes before monsoon flooding arrives.

Experts say they’re concerned for flooding because of the Bighorn Fire scar. 

After mapping the burn area from the fire, they've found several areas that could see severe flooding.

In fact, officials with Pima County's Regional Flood District say they're expecting higher than normal levels of runoff this year because of the fire.

That's why crews are working across the area this week to clear out vegetation and reinforce culverts before the rains start.

They're doing this to make sure the channels are clear so runoff can flow and doesn't get backed up, flooding nearby homes.

This is a year-round effort, but crews are doing some additional work because of the Bighorn Fire, especially since a large part of the fire happened right on top of the old Aspen Fire scars.

When that happens, experts say the soil changes and becomes vulnerable.

“The runoff can increase a lot. It can seem like it might as well be raining on your rooftop the way it’s going to come off some of the mountains. That’s why we’ve been putting out notices and public information that residents can expect higher than normal flows in some of these watercourses,” said Andy Dinauer, deputy director for the Pima County Regional Flood Control District.

For those with homes near potential flooding spots, Dinauer advises removing debris from the wash that runs through your property and contacting your HOA to ensure culverts have been cleared in your neighborhood.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.