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Yavapai County Flood Control District

weather flood turn around don't drownSedona AZ (April 7, 2016) – Flood Control? Here in arid Arizona? Yes, it does rain enough in Arizona that flooding will happen with some regularity. Sometimes it occurs on a small, neighborhood scale following high intensity, summer thunderstorms. At other times, flooding occurs on a regional scale, spanning multiple counties, resulting from widespread rainfall brought by a winter storm front or hurricane remnant that moves up the Gulf of California into Arizona.

Within the Arizona Revised Statutes, the Legislature of the State of Arizona delegates responsibility to each county flood control district to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry with regards to the dangers and risks of flooding. The Yavapai County Flood Control District was created, and the initial floodplain regulations were adopted by the District Board of Directors, in December 1981.

Yavapai County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which allows property owners within Yavapai County to be eligible to purchase a flood insurance policy on a structure through the NFIP. In turn, the Flood Control District agrees to uphold the requirements of the NFIP when it comes to new development within identified flood hazard areas of Yavapai County.

The regulations and requirements of the District’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance are intended to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions. Under this Ordinance, the District regulates development within floodplains and watersheds, and along larger watercourses.  This District will also oversee or administer studies that identify flood hazards and associated problems.

Merrill Roberts' Monsoon in Sedona

Merrill Roberts’ Monsoon in Sedona

Furthermore, the District directs and assists with construction of flood control or drainage improvement projects and manage their ongoing maintenance in order to relieve known flooding and drainage problem areas.

In addition to its regulatory responsibilities, the Flood Control District is a resource about flooding risks and drainage matters. Outreach programs have been set up to provide information and help convey the risks of flooding to citizens of Yavapai County. Both electronic format and hard copy literature is available. Flood status reports may be requested for all properties within the unincorporated areas of Yavapai County, as well as within the communities of Sedona (western portion), Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Jerome, Dewey-Humboldt, and Wickenburg (northern portion), for which the District administers the regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program and its Ordinance.

A flood status report will provide flood hazard zone information, and possibly localized drainage information about a property, and are available by emailing a request to the District with the assessor’s parcel number of the property in question, and appropriate contact information to FloodStatus@yavapai.us. Please see the Flood Control District website (www.ycflood.com) for more information about this service.

2013 Arizona monsoon taken from iPhone atop Sedona Airport Mesa by Al Comello

2013 Arizona monsoon taken from iPhone atop Sedona Airport Mesa by Al Comello

Another service that the Flood Control District offers is access to its remote rain gauge and stream flow gauge network that it has scattered around the County and within watersheds that directly affect Yavapai County. The gauge network is based on the ALERT (Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time) protocol which gives the District live, real-time data at its gauges while precipitation and runoff events are occurring. This data can be tapped into by forecasting agencies like the National Weather Service, or can be viewed directly by the public on the District’s weather website http://weather.ycflood.com/.

The Flood Control District operates while keeping in mind the best interests of the public and communities’ safety, welfare, and resilience to flood events. If you have more questions, please contact either of the District offices in Prescott or Cottonwood, or visit the District’s website for more information about flood risks and safety.

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