Pima County Flood Control District reflects on record monsoon, what it might handle differently in the future
Dry conditions in 2020 allowed crews to get necessary work done on washes, which ultimately worked in the county’s favor during this monsoon.
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima County Flood Control says the record-breaking monsoon has caused the organization to consider handling widespread storms and flooding differently in the future, by increasing internal support.
“We have a fairly small crew that goes out and does inspections, and they do a great job, but we can’t have eyes everywhere in Pima County,” said Brian Jones, Division Manager, Pima County Regional Flood Control District.
Jones said the dry conditions in 2020 allowed crews to get necessary work done on washes, which ultimately worked in the county’s favor during this monsoon. He said infrastructure is working properly but said internal work amid the organization could use a tuneup.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had such an active monsoon season, or we had so much flooding around Pima County,” Jones said. “The last time we had a similar monsoon season or widespread flooding, we would send crews out into the field to look at flooding issues and they would document things and then they would come back into the office and we would process it.”
Jones said this monsoon season is different because they are receiving more information from the public through social media and smartphones. He said the county appreciates and encourages the public to report problems but said at times it can be overwhelming when combined with other assigned tasks.
“Because everyone is taking pictures and videos on cellphones, all that information is coming in in real time to us and it’s a challenge when we’re trying to monitor the storm, monitor everything that’s going on and process this information in real time,” Jones said.
Nonetheless, Jones said it is extremely important the public continue to report information when they see it. He said the ultimate lesson they learned this monsoon is they need to have more individuals focus on specific tasks instead of juggling all responsibilities.
“We can’t be everywhere all of the time, but we are certainly trying. Even as wet as it’s been we’ve had very little damage to infrastructure, things have been flowing like they should and we haven’t really had flooding where we don’t expect to have flooding,” Jones said. “So it seems, even with all of the rain, that the measures we’ve put in place are working.”
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