Residents see flooding problems getting worse

KINGMAN ­ Former Mohave County Transportation Commissioner Frank Jenkins isn't alone in ongoing flooding and drainage problems, but washout in his neighborhood is escalating to the point of drastically altering the floodwater pattern and altering the landscape.

Jenkins said he has never seen flooding as bad in 20 years of living at 3967 Bryce Road, as he has the last few years, much of it he attributes to the removal of a drainage culvert under Agua Fria off U.S. 93.

Four or five years ago, the Arizona Department of Transportation was planning to elevate the street level on the approach to U.S. 93 from Aqua Fria for school busses and emergency vehicles, Jenkins said, but the Citizens Utilities company protested because of concern that a relay station on the side of Aqua Fria would get washed out. As a result, the approach never happened and the culvert was never replaced, creating a new drainage pattern leading right onto Bryce Road, causing driveways along Bryce Road to wash out, water main line exposure susceptible to collapse, eroding foundation for the utility poles and an accumulating level of sand and dirt on the street.

During last weekend's storms, a pickup truck lost control into a wash along Agua Fria and two vehicles became stranded at the end of Bryce Road in flooding Jenkins described as "flowing like a river."

"This is terrible. They need to do something," Karen Schaefer said, a resident of Bouse Street, located off Agua Fria.

Residents living off of Agua Fria get the down flow from rain coming off the Cerbat foothills where So-Hi Estates is located.

The street level, as a result of grading after storms, has dropped about five feet where in previous years, the street may have dropped about a foot-and-a-half, Jenkins said.

"It's just going to keep washing out and getting worse," he said.

"I don't know what the solution is."

Jenkins said he has talked to both the county and the state about the problem but for the moment no agencies have responded to act, he was filing a work order on Monday with the county requesting a culvert at Agua Fria and the entry of a trailer park on the corner of US 93.

Mohave County Public Works Director Michael Hendrix said what has been perceived as the worst flooding experienced in memory for many residents is actually

See FLOODING, Page 2

what may be the norm, since the region has experienced an extended period of drought.

"I don't recall periods of rain this long, this widespread, since I've worked for the county," Hendrix said, adding that he has worked for the county since 1984.

Hendrix said that water flow from the recent rains have exceeded road protections.

Mohave County road crews worked all weekend into the evenings to keep roads open and make them passable, he said.

"It's really stressing our road department.

"They're stressed. They're tired," he said.

Lost pavement resulted from flooding in a half-dozen county locations last weekend alone, he added.

Hendrix said the county allocates enough money in the capital budget for high volume, greater public purpose roads, and maintenance is about all they can do for residents on the outskirts.

Michael Kondelis with the Arizona Department of Transportation said he spoke with Jenkins on Monday and was planning to look at the area today and evaluate the right-of-way boundaries.