Flooding continues, officials urge safety

Cassie Tafoya/Arizona Silver Belt Onlookers stand on a bridge in Miami to see the flooded wash on Sunday, July 25.

Monsoon rains flooded Bloody Tanks Wash in Miami on Sunday, July 25. The rains on recent wildland fire burn scars can affect communities downhill and downstream and experts say it can happen for the next 3-5 years. A burn scar is the charred, barren, vegetation less land left behind after a fire. The severity of the fire will determine how long it takes vegetation to regrow.

Severely burned soils can be as water-repellent as pavement, causing even short periods of moderate rainfall to run off extremely quickly, moving large amounts of ash, sand, silt, rocks and vegetation, potentially causing severe damage to roadways, culverts, and buildings and creating a threat to life and safety.

Flash flooding can occur minutes after heavy rains begin and Gila County Emergency Management is urging residents to take safety precautions. Do not wait for a Flash Flood Warning, stay aware of changing weather conditions and be prepared to take safety precautions quickly.

Do not cross flooded roadways. The road may be damaged and flood waters are deeper and faster than they appear. It only takes six inches of water to stall a vehicle, a foot will float many vehicles and two feet can carry away most vehicles. Bridges can also be compromised or destroyed by flood waters and standing on or looking from them can be life threatening.

Log on to the Arizona Emergency Information Network at www.azein.gov where you can view statewide emergency bulletins, preparedness information or sign up for social network alerts, such as Facebook or Twitter. For local emergency information call the Gila County Emergency Hotline: 800-304-4452 extension 8888 or 928-402-8888.

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