Pima County prepares washes for Monsoon 2023

A Tucson wash flows with water during Monsoon 2022.
Posted at 5:54 PM, May 31, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — From road closures to swift water rescues, residents of Pima County know the inconveniences of monsoon all too well.

The issues usually surround areas with washes, including Finger Rock Wash in the Catalina Foothills.

The Finger Rock Wash Improvement Project is underway in an effort to help drain the flood waters. This project, led by the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, is just one of the ways the county is maintaining the washes.

"The transportation project is replacing an old single culvert, raising the roadway up that elevation to allow for that 100 year floodplain to run underneath," said Joseph Cuffari.

Before the project, the area acted as a dam, putting homes that are downstream at risk. That project is expected to by completed by June 2023.

As for other flood mitigation projects, the county is looking into flood walls as a possible solution.

"So actually raising the elevation of some of the banks have the washes containing it," said Cuffari.

"Washes change, right? Sediment is introduced vegetation, it all lowers that capacity. So how do we combat that? Well, we can either remove that vegetation and sediment or raise the banks of the wash where we can and that's where we're choosing to do with some of those areas," said Cuffari.

Faith Abercrombie is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before coming to KGUN, Faith worked as a videographer for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation and as a reporter and producer on the youth suicide documentary, "Life is..." on Arizona PBS.
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