Tonto Basin Resident Gets Floodplain Variance

Tonto Creek flooding has presented problems for Tonto Basin residents for years.


Tonto Creek flooding has presented problems for Tonto Basin residents for years.


When the creek in Tonto Basin floods again — and it will; it always does — Roy Goodwin and his wife Rosalie will be high and dry ... and legal.

The Goodwins won a recent request for a variance, which means the county’s community development and floodplain office deemed necessary the extensive work done on their home.

The Goodwins actually started working on protecting their home from future floods back in September 2010. They have a 24-foot-by-60-foot manufactured home initially installed without obtaining the required floodplain use permit. As a result, it sat several feet too low — making it vulnerable to floods.

The relatively level lot sits in the floodplain of Tonto Creek, in an area where the creek flooded in January 2010.

Confined to a wheelchair, Goodwin asked the County Community Services Division to help “rehab” the home and build a porch and ramp.

While the county was rehabbing the home, county officials discovered the elevation problems. The county then issued a floodplain permit to raise the home to the proper height. The County Community Services Division elevated the home and installed skirting. When the County Public Works Division came to certify the elevation, inspectors determined a portion of the work still had the home at three to four inches lower than required by code.

The elevation doesn’t meet the county’s code, however, it does meet FEMA’s code for structures in a floodplain.

Since the couple has worked closely to correct the problem and the fault is with the work done by the contractors hired by the County Community Services Division, the staff recommended the supervisors give Goodwin his variance.

“I feel the home is reasonably well protected from flood,” Darde DeRoulhac, flood control district chief engineer, told the supervisors.

With that assurance, the Gila County Board of Supervisors approved the request.


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