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9/3/2013 5:50:00 PM
Rain wallops Williamson Valley; woman rescued after being trapped in vehicle during fast-moving flood with VIDEO
Holly Isaacs/Courtesy photoMonsoon rain turned Williamson Valley Road, near McIntosh Drive, into a river Tuesday.
Holly Isaacs/Courtesy photo

Monsoon rain turned Williamson Valley Road, near McIntosh Drive, into a river Tuesday.

Tim Wiederaenders/The Daily Courier
A backhoe operator works to clear away washed away fencing on McIntosh Drive in Williamson Valley.
Tim Wiederaenders/The Daily Courier
A backhoe operator works to clear away washed away fencing on McIntosh Drive in Williamson Valley.
Video exclusive of car floating in wash


Patrick Whitehurst
The Daily Courier


Fast-moving floodwaters overtook a vehicle near Williamson Valley Road and McIntosh Drive Tuesday afternoon, trapping a 71-year-old woman in her vehicle.

Rescuers responded to the monsoon-related incident just before 5 p.m., eventually locating the vehicle approximately one mile from where it was swept away. Rescuers successfully reached the vehicle's lone female occupant, according to Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesperson for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

Central Yavapai Fire District (CYFD) Fire Marshal Rick Chase said the power of the flood turned the vehicle on its side shortly after it was swept away. Emergency personnel found the 71-year-old driver after searching the shore on foot.

"She is uninjured and was not transported to the hospital. Central Yavapai were the first on scene and they were able to get her out of the car without incident," said CYFD Battalion Chief Cougan Carothers. "It sounded like the vehicle was swept downstream quite a ways. They had to spend quite a bit of time looking for her and the vehicle. There were quite a few waterways she could have gone down."

Three agencies responded to the incident, including CYFD, Prescott Fire Department and Chino Valley Fire District. Shortly after reports of the incident, a Ranger helicopter launched from Flagstaff to help in the rescue operation, but was cancelled when rescue personnel reached the driver.

Flooding caused a number of issues in the Williamson Valley area Tuesday, including road closures from Macintosh Drive to Pemberton Drive and other low water flooding concerns. The road reopened for vehicles around 6:30 p.m. Residents in the area reported more than three inches of rain resulting from the storm.

"No other emergency responses were generated from those flooding issues that I know of," Carothers said.

Flooding appeared to be less severe in the Prescott city limits, according to Prescott Police Department Lt. Ken Morley.

"We didn't have anything major in the city. We did a bunch of creek crossing closures. Nothing significant, but there was a lot of rain," Morley said.

While forecasters called for a 40 percent chance of rain Tuesday, monsoons are expected to decrease, but continue, through Thursday. Expect a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday and a 20 percent chance for thunderstorms on Thursday.



Follow Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier.com





Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013
Article comment by: Don't Worry Be Happy

Over the years we have received a county truck to tour the roads each day . The county uses his eyes in the area for something I am sure . And I am sure he and his family are happy for the weekly paycheck and the pension plan he will receive . So be happy cheer up Williamson Valley Estates and STOP changing the ground around you . Cross your fingers the county crew if any will STOP engineering the land -- and at least enlarge and maintain the runoff areas . Good news is my parcel for sale survived pristine without flooding . WV residents stay safe and enjoy, and don't forget to wave and be friendly to the guy in the truck and the whirlybird in the sky..

Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Article comment by: Northwest Sam

To Lea
Very happy to read that you and the lady that was swepted away are ok. The issue at hand is the drainage along side Williamson Valley in that area and to the south is very poor at best. If we remember this same thing happened last year about the same time. The County's response was NOT to try and improve the drainage because that would be an admission of guilt. No we need to put up do not cross when flooded signs. This is not speculation on my part, it is actually what was said by the Public Works Director. Trust me. I was absolutely sickened to hear that comment. A total lack of concern for the traveling public and home owners in the area. Poor Service is a Crime. Hopefully Supervisor Brown will see this post.


Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Article comment by: Lea Detweiler

Friends, this video is of my property. I am so sickened to the damage that occurred during the storm. BUT..... I want to set a few things straight. First, there IS a sign that says "do not cross when flooded". Why did this lady try to cross the water when other vehicles were stopped and wanted to stay safe? My video is pretty awful but I was shaking so bad because I thought that this would be the last time anyone saw her alive. (also I was continually calling 911 to update on her location). Second, my perimeter fencing was built to let flood waters pass under. This lady tried to cross but the current tossed her little car from the road against my fence. It held her car and the pressure of the flood waters for about 5 minutes and then my fence gave way. She floated down into another dividing fence line and eventually took that one out. Once her car broke free from that one, I knew she was in REAL trouble. Picking up speed, the car broke through our other perimeter fence sending her across Bailey Ave. As you can see in the video, the wash was flowing freely under the fence before she broke that one apart. She got caught up on the bank in which the car was on its side. Calling 911 again, I gave her location. Once the car came off the bank, it began rolling over and over, continuing down the wash towards a huge tank (pond) into Deep Well Ranch. I then told 911 they need to send out someone for a "body recovery" because she was gone. I cannot tell you the sickening feeling I had thinking that I was the last one to see this lady alive. It turned out well for this lady for, at least, she still has her life. I'm so very thankful that she is alive. ... (word limit exceeded)

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Northwest Sam

To All Who Have Commented
The real answer is Engineers that have Real World Experience. The County Aministrator, County Engineer and Puplic Works Director are all Engineers that have Zero Real World Experience. They are Career Government Employees. Their first and most important concern is their own monthly payrole and retirement. The issues that you the Taxpayer have are secondary, trust me on this as I have watched these people for many years and questioned their decisions on many occasions. I was told in response to these questions that if you didn't like it you could always go find another job. So Sad to see this kind of attitude towards the Taxpayer. So Sad. There is an Old saying that Poor Service is a Crime. Enough said.


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Upgrades Needed to Prevent Flooding

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.

The Town of Winchester, MA submitted a new design for culverts in a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant proposal. They enlarged their culvert capacity and upgraded the new culverts with pre-cast reinforced concrete and new headwalls. Cost to the Town was $0.

The entrance of Dineh Rd into the Ho Kay Gan subdivision is partially destroyed and an adjacent home is surrounded by mud. The raised grade of Williamson Valley Rd is creating rapid runoff into some areas and will cause repetitive losses over time from flooding.

Flood control needs to be addressed by providing enlarged concrete, reinforced culverts and new headwalls(small retaining wall at the outlet) where potential flooding occurs along Williamson Valley Rd.

Severe repetitive loss to property may occur and could expose local Government to potential lawsuits. The new road has altered the terrain enough to possibly require flood zoning and flood insurance unless it can be mitigated.


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: 12 inches of rain in Chino Valley

We had 12 inches of rain in Chino Valley. 12 drops, 1 inch apart.

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Dear Calling All Civil Engineers

Just so you know, roads flood all over the country Seattle, Baton Rouge, Tallahasee etc...
places that get a lot of rain. It's not the engineering. I live in the Mountain Club, and my rain gauge, which measures up to two inches, overflowed after thirty minutes of rain. That means that local rainfall could have been over 4 inches per hour. There is no road or drainage system in the country that can handle that type of intensity. So let's give the engineers a break. The engineers design the road to the specs that the County or the City require. To handle that kind of intensity would add millions to any project. It's the old adage, "No matter what people are talking about, they are talking about money". By the way, where did you get your engineering training?


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: LONG TIME RESIDENT

Let it rain, Let it rain!!

Feels like old Prescott!


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Calling All Civil Engineers

Arizona roadways are some of the worst engineered roadways when it comes to water control. Maybe it's time to hire some real civil engineers who know how to design for flood control. Maybe hire someone from a climate where it rains more often? They seem to know how to properly engineer a road so it doesn't flood.

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: @ Clearly Marked

First, I'm very happy this lady is safe and did not suffer major injury. Also that her rescuers are safe.

Was this roadway actually barricaded, or was it merely posted with permanent "do not enter when flooded signs"? Unless the road was actually barricaded, this driver is not liable for her rescue costs.

28-910. Liability for emergency responses in flood areas definitions
A. A driver of a vehicle who drives the vehicle on a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, AND THAT IS BARRICADED BECAUSE OF FLOODING is liable for the expenses of any emergency response


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Hmmm . . .

I thought there was a word limit on these comments. Guess someone wanted to make a point. Ho hum.

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Clearly marked : DO NOT ENTER WHEN FLOODED But happy she is safe!

Most of us turned around..she decided to enter even though the area has many signs posted not to enter. This put other at great risk to rescue her.

28-910. Liability for emergency responses in flood areas definitions
A. A driver of a vehicle who drives the vehicle on a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, and that is barricaded because of flooding is liable for the expenses of any emergency response that is required to remove from the public street or highway the driver or any passenger in the vehicle that becomes inoperable on the public street or highway or the vehicle that becomes inoperable on the public street or highway, or both.
B. A person convicted of violating section 28-693 for driving a vehicle into any area that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, may be liable for expenses of any emergency response that is required to remove from the area the driver or any passenger in the vehicle that becomes inoperable in the area or the vehicle that becomes inoperable in the area, or both.
C. The expenses of an emergency response are a charge against the person liable for those expenses pursuant to subsection A or B of this section. The charge constitutes a debt of that person and may be collected proportionately by the public agencies, for-profit entities or not-for-profit entities that incurred the expenses. The person's liability for the expenses of an emergency response shall not exceed two thousand dollars for a single incident. The liability imposed under this section is in addition to and not in limitation of any other liability that may be imposed.
D. An insurance policy may exclude coverage for a person's liability for expenses of an emergency response under this section.
E. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Expenses of an emergency response" means reasonable costs directly incurred by public agencies, for-profit entities or not-for-profit entities that make an appropriate emergency response to an incident.
2. "Public agency" means this state and any city, county, municipal corporation, district or other public authority that is located in whole or in part in this state and that provides police, fire fighting, medical or other emergency services.
3. "Reasonable costs" includes the costs of providing police, fire fighting, rescue and emergency medical services at the scene of an incident and the salaries of the persons who respond to the incident but does not include charges assessed by an ambulance service that is regulated pursuant to title 36, chapter 21.1, article 2.


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: jon kramer

Whitehurst ..MIGHT have thought about addressing the issues about driving through flooded areas. This is a public service issue and the media might consider using an article like this to remind people of the dangers of driving through flooded areas...Think about it.

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Whitney

You shoulda seen it come down on Copper Basin Road!!!

WOW!


Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy In Ho Kai Gan

We received four inches of rain on Yampa Drive! That's got to be some kind of record. Streets need county attention over here...

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Article comment by: Williamson Valley

The entire Williamson Valley Connector is a disaster waiting to happen. It has created floodplains where none existed. Dozens of homeowners have lost millions in property values because of this lack of proper engineering.

One homeowner has posted some videos on you tube.

view them at wvdisaster on you tube.




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