Laveen’s History of Flooding
Monsoon 2014 brought significant flooding to Maricopa County, and cities and towns looked to the Flood Control District (the District) to help those neighborhoods that were flooded. The flooding was particularly heavy, even disastrous, for those in Laveen. Houses in the Southern Hills and Citrus Mountain Neighborhood found themselves in deep waters when streets quickly turned to rivers. Starting in 2015, District planners and engineers focused on completing an updated area drainage study. The update evaluated flooding hazards and developed alternatives that could help reduce flooding for Laveen. Five recommendations were proposed as a part of the study.
The 27th Avenue and Olney Avenue Project
This large project consists of several flood control components. A combination of basins and storm drains, the completed project is anticipated to reduce the flooding risk by capturing and safely moving the stormwater away from roads and homes to an existing retention basin. This basin was built by the District in 2016 at the northeast corner of 27th Avenue and South Mountain Avenue. In addition, three basins recently have been excavated near 23rd Avenue and Olney Avenue. The District and the City of Phoenix determined these interim measures would provide some relief this Monsoon season. The City of Phoenix is leading the construction efforts to build these basins designed by the District and anticipate completion in October.
Work for the District and the City is not complete, as basins simply store stormwater runoff. In addition to the basin, a storm drain system along 27th Avenue is being designed to capture and convey stormwater to the regional basin at 27th Avenue and South Mountain Avenue. The design should be complete next spring and the total project is anticipated to be complete and in place in time for Monsoon 2021.
Take Steps Now
These interim steps help reduce flooding during the average storm, but the risk of flooding remains. Take steps to protect your home now. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and you do not need to live near water to be flooded. The Laveen area is not currently in a floodplain, but flood insurance is still an option. While flood insurance does not change the chances of flooding, it does reduce your financial risk. Did you know that 25 percent of flood insurance claims are for properties outside of a designated floodplain? In the event of flooding, you can protect your home’s entrance, back door or garage with sandbags. Check with your local fire department or the City of Phoenix office. They often provide sandbags to residents in advance of anticipated storms.
For more information on the project or ways you can reduce your flood risk, visit our website at fcd.maricopa.gov.