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"The River Mabel" flows when monsoon rolls in

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 21:42:00-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When the clouds burst and the waters rise, they often rise high in midtown neighborhoods.

There is one street that floods so frequently neighbors call it The River Mabel.

When the rain pours down, trouble pours in to quiet streets like Mabel near the U of A.

Stephen sent us a photo of a soggy street scene as Mabel ran high this week.

He's put up with flooding for all the years he's lived here.

"It doesn't happen every time it rains but when it does happen we gotta watch out because it can come through my back door.  It comes off the street under the gate, into the front yard.” 

Craig Smith asked: “You think there's any hope of fixing that or is this just how it's gonna be?”  

Stephen: I imagine it's how it's gonna be. I don't see anybody out here.  You're the only one that's ever come asking about it."

When you look at the lay of the land you can see there's a definite slope on Mabel that's going to concentrate water.  So when the water hits the pavement, it's going to flow downhill towards this intersection that the neighbors call Lake Mabel.

Elena's lived along Mable Street for 25 years and seen 25 years of reliable flooding.

"This is the River Mabel at certain times and Lake Mabel forms at that intersection there.”  

Craig Smith: “What's it like coping with that?”  

Elena: “Ahh...We like it kind of, but afterwards it often leaves a mess of gravel so when people drive through there too fast, as they do it's quite a roll."

Older streets in Tucson were not designed with storm sewers and officials say it's too late, too expensive and too disruptive to add them now. So the River Mabel, and other streets like it will probably continue to flow.