Mass evacuations ordered after Gila River overflows into eastern Arizona town of Duncan

Duncan residents say with more rain in the forecast this week, some are worried. But they say they'll continue to stick together and help their neighbors.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 9:49 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 2:54 PM MST
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DUNCAN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Dozens of residents of a small town in eastern Arizona have evacuated after the Gila River reached a major flood stage early Monday morning, spilling water into parts of town. Because of the flooding, the U.S. Postal Service is temporarily closing its office in the town. Customers can head to the Post Office in Safford for their mailing needs. No word when the Duncan Post Office will be reopened.

The Duncan Valley Rural Fire District says water levels of the Gila River began overflowing into parts of Duncan around 4:30 a.m., leading to a mass evacuation for flood-prone areas. Specifically, that includes all areas lower than High Street and the Chaparral Store. Here’s a list of impacted roads:

  • East Ave.
  • 3rd & 4th below the highway
  • Ash St.
  • Acacia St.
  • Pecan St.
  • Main St.
  • Madison St.
  • Hobbs St.
  • Harwell St.
  • Philpott Ave.
  • Stadium St.
  • Wilson St.
  • Tyler Ln.
  • Cottonwood St.
  • Church St.
  • Gale Ave.
  • West end by the car wash

Early Monday afternoon, Fire Chief Hayden Boyd said around 25-30 homes have been impacted and that up to 60 people have been evacuated. Unfortunately, the levee breached and the main road into town is flooded. Repairs are underway.

The good news, he says, is that the river crested around 6 a.m. and water is already beginning to recede. Until the water recedes to a safe level, Chief Boyd asks that Duncan residents shelter in place. He says the department doesn’t have a vehicle able to drive through the current level of water.

The Duncan Valley Rural Fire District says the Greenlee County Fairgrounds, located at 1248 Fairgrounds Road, is open and available for use as an evacuation Center. The corrals are also open for anyone needing to temporarily relocate their livestock.

Fire personnel are also assisting with the evacuation. Check back for updates.

A map of Duncan Valley in eastern Arizona
A map of Duncan Valley in eastern Arizona(Arizona's Family)

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