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Coconino County Asks For Nearly $150-Million In Federal Aid To Help Flood Mitigation After Summer Wildfires

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Coconino County is asking for around $150-million dollars in federal funds to help mitigation efforts on the Pipeline West and the Schultz-Pipeline burn areas. Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Deputy Forest Service Director Chris French and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the county and the city, met in Flagstaff this morning to talk about long-term flood mitigation and the cost. The money will go toward on-forest watershed restoration, flood mitigation in affected neighborhoods and highway drainage improvements. Congressman O’Halleran says change can’t happen overnight, but it can come quicker. He says, “the Shultz Fire took three years to be able to get enough help out there. There’s help almost immediately there now. Is it enough for our families not to be upset? It’s a hard environment to be in.” He adds, “this is an environment that changes day in and day out and we all have to make sure we do a fast of a job as possible to ensure the safety of our citizens.” Some of the work that is being planned is building more concrete channels and bridge and box culverts, new flood mitigation built in Peaceful Way, two channels in Copeland and Government Tank. Also the county wants to expand mitigation in Wupatki Trails. Work also has to be done to keep water off of highways 180 and 89. Some of the requests have been submitted, while others will need to be turned in. Congressman O’Halleran hopes the requests can get before Congress by the end of the session in November.