Deluge Floods Streets, Apartment Complex

Flooding on Forest Street Monday

Flooding on Forest Street Monday Photo by Pete Aleshire. |

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A handful of apartments flooded Monday during a monsoon storm that dumped nearly a 1.5 inches of rain on Payson, turning side streets into Slip ’n Slides and Star Valley and Round Valley washes into rivers.

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A flooded drainage ditch behind Denny’s restaurant Monday.

The fierce rainstorm flooded several crossings, but that didn’t keep some Payson drivers from flashing past caution barriers and making a splash.

Perhaps the worst damage occurred in the flooded apartment buildings in the 300 block of West Frontier. One man said he was napping in his apartment when he heard neighbors shouting next door. He looked out a sliding glass door and saw water pouring down a hill toward him.

A deluge of water quickly entered six homes in the two-story condominium complex. Residents opened the doors on either end of each unit to let the water pour through. The instant rapids of muddy brown water ran over shag carpets and tile floors.

One woman said the water was as high as six inches, pointing to a mark on the wall left by debris.

The residents sopped up the water as best they could with twist mops and wet vacs as firefighters tried to clear a drainage pipe outside.

One man’s sandals sloshed noisily as he walked through his home, mop in hand. He ran the mop across the floor, soaking up a few cups of water.

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A resident points to the high-water mark on her wall.

After wringing it out, he returned to collect more — making little visible mark on the flooded apartment.

The heavy rains two weeks ago had also flooded the complex, but not nearly as badly. Workers were supposed to tack down his carpet Monday after it had dried from the last flood; now he guesses the carpet will need replacing along with the drywall.

Payson firefighters said a drainage system under the back porches of the homes had drained too slowly to keep ahead of the flood. Firefighters said they would build up a berm of sandbags in front of the units in case of another storm.

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff says the monsoon weather will continue through Wednesday, with an 80 percent chance of storms Tuesday and a 50 percent chance Wednesday. By Thursday, the chances for showers will decrease significantly as drier air moves in from the west.

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