Province VIllages border
The area between the Province and Villages developments. Google StreetView

The Maricopa Flood Control District is still awaiting a response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on next steps in the city’s efforts to mitigate potential flood damage near the Desert Cedars subdivision.

The engineering study was completed for $20,000 under budget, officials said, and the city awaits approval of its request for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision, also known as a CLOMR. While still waiting for approval, district manager David Alley said at Tuesday night’s MFCD meeting the district is expecting to be reimbursed for its costs as early as Friday, Dec. 11.

About 20 homes in the Desert Cedars development lie within the Gila River flood plain, which requires the homeowners to purchase flood insurance annually. The mitigation efforts currently under review would remove that requirement from the homeowners, saving the residents money and providing additional flood protection in the area. While this project is primarily site-specific to Desert Cedars, it may also provide some level of protection from flooding in the area at John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road.

The district also announced it has begun working closely with homeowners associations in Province and The Villages to remove debris from and maintain the emergency flood runoff channel that runs between the two communities. While many residents believe the open space was designed as a recreation area, it is actually an important tool in protecting the city from a major flooding event.

The channel has the capacity to carry 6,000-9,000 cubic feet of water per second, and any trash, vegetation or other debris that lies in the channel presents the potential for significant damage to the surrounding properties in a significant flood.

The district holds easements on the channel, so it provides the bulk of the labor and financing for the removal of debris and maintenance of the channel, but both HOAs contribute funding to ensure the channel remains free of obstruction.