Senator saw and heard firsthand from Coconino County officials about flood mitigation and recovery efforts
FLAGSTAFF – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema received a briefing and tour in Flagstaff to hear and see firsthand the flood mitigation and recovery efforts impacting areas near the previous site of the Pipeline Fire last month. Sinema’s visit comes as Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy declares a State of Emergency due to flooding in the area.
“Communities like Flagstaff have seen significant post-fire flooding this monsoon season – and we’re committed to working with local leaders to implement funds mitigating the impact of these floods in Northern Arizona,” said Sinema.
Sinema received the briefing and subsequent tour of impacted areas by Supervisor Patrice Horstman of Coconino County District 1 and Supervisor Jeronimo Vasquez of Coconino County District 2, among other Coconino County officials. On July 16, the National Guard was deployed to help reduce the threat of flooding in the area, and on July 27, the City of Flagstaff declared a State of Emergency due to continued flooding.
During the briefing, Coconino County officials stressed the need for federal funds for long-term flood mitigation efforts including on-forest watershed restoration, flood mitigation through the neighborhoods, and improvements to highway infrastructure. In November, Sinema secured approximately $7 million in funding from the Forest Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service to mitigate the impact of flooding caused by the Museum Fire burn scar. The City of Flagstaff and Coconino County have reported that there have been no flooding issues in areas previously impacted by runoff from that burn scar.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law, which Sinema negotiated, co-authored, and helped pass into law, includes a historic $12 billion for flood mitigation efforts.
In May, Sinema visited Coconino County to see firsthand the damage caused by the Tunnel Fire – which burned nearly 20,000 acres northeast of Flagstaff – and receive a briefing from the U.S. Forest Service on the region’s mitigation and recovery efforts. Sinema shared with Coconino County officials how her bipartisan infrastructure law authorizes a once-in-a-generation $8.25 billion for wildfire management, resiliency, restoration, and natural resources-related infrastructure.
Earlier this year, Sinema, along with fellow Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, announced $3,500,000 for the City of Flagstaff’s Watershed Protection Project – funding both Senators secured in the annual budget bill. Sinema pledged to work with local leaders in the City to ensure they receive the funding they’re owed.