Areas of Mount Lemmon seeing erosion from significant rain

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 9:51 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -While rain is proving to be great for vegetation and wildlife, one area is starting to see some major erosion. And area businesses are doing their best to keep grounds secure.

Green as can be! That’s how Mount Lemmon is looking thanks to all the moisture.

Grey Carpenter, Owner of the Mt. Lemmon General Store says he’s picked up nearly 20 inches on the rain gauge.

“It just keeps raining so I don’t know when it’s going to end but we’re loving every drop,” says Carpenter.

But with it comes mother nature’s wrath. Erosion and rock slides have become common here this monsoon.

“Because of construction, the soil was really beat up naturally,” says Justin Hafner, who owns Mt. Lemmon Hotel with his wife. “The soil is really fine up there, so you get a little rain with not a lot of vegetation and the soil flows away.”

And that’s put a damper on many projects in the area, including continued construction of additional units at the Mount Lemmon Hotel.

“What we’ve been trying to do is…everywhere where the water creates natural indentation of the soil, we fill it in with boulders and we fill it in with rocks. That water is moving down the mountain so fast it takes the soil with it, so there’s usually work that needs to be done after every rain storm at this point,” says Hafner.

So far, the erosion issues have not been dangerous for visitors and residents, and locals want to keep it that way.

But if you choose to pay the area a visit, there are a few things to note.

“The main thing to look out for is the rocks on the highway, there’s a lot of loose rocks right now because of the rain and when the sun comes out it actually loosens the rocks up even more so the rocks can fall on the road anytime, be it during the rain or on a sunny day so you’ve really got to be careful with that coming around a blind corner or something like that,” says Carpenter.

“I think as time progresses and we let that natural vegetation grow back in, it will be better with time,” says Hafner.

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