My name is Kyle House. I am a geologist with over thirty years of experience studying flooding, particularly in Arizona. This letter is written with the support of my neighbors at Stevanna Way.
Extraordinary flooding from ordinary storms requires extraordinary mitigation efforts.
Stevanna Way was subjected to five destructive Schultz Creek floods in 15 days. These floods were made worse by wildfires, but they were exacerbated by bad decisions, compromises and inaction.
Flood and inundation maps show Stevanna Way at a critical crossroads of undercapable and poorly designed culverts. Residents carried floodwaters directly through and around properties, causing $10,000 in damage to areas that have not been flooded in 50 years. Local mitigation efforts on Stevanna have reduced the impacts of the city’s infrastructure issues by limiting flooding of North Woods apartments and the north end of Coconino Estates.
The City must act now. Both the west and east sides face devastation resulting from rapid environmental change and aging infrastructure. The composite risk of fires and floods will eventually imperil the entire San Francisco Mountain, threatening all low-lying areas in its shadow.
Our city and county are at the forefront of developing an innovative and effective approach to a threat that looms large in the West. We must adopt solutions that correspond to the extraordinary dangers we face. Rehabilitating watersheds and flood retention are important parts of the solution, but correcting drainage defects that repeatedly put citizens at risk is also essential. Waiting for vulnerable areas to flood repeatedly is not innovation, it is irresponsibility.
THE STEVANNA WAY DISTRICT