Next week, the Town of Wickenburg (Town) and the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCD) will take a significant step towards lowering flood risk in one of the area’s floodways. Several homes along Powder House Wash are scheduled for demolition to remove them from flood damage. Historical flooding in this area has occurred since the early 1900s. Most of the properties also experienced flooding during the 2014 and 2015 storms.
“This effort closes a difficult chapter for the residents in this area of Wickenburg,” said Clint Hickman, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “Repeated, heavy flooding has made the buyout and removal of these homes the only reasonable choice and we’re glad residents have moved safely out of the floodplain.”
The demolition of the homes and clearing of the lots is scheduled to begin October 24th and should be completed by the end of November. During this time, residents in the area will notice an increase in construction activity, noise and traffic. Before demolition of the buildings begins, hazardous materials will be removed, and that work will begin on October 10th.
When the homes experienced flooding again during the July 18, 2015 storm, Town and FCD officials met with homeowners in the Vista Del Pueblo neighborhood near Constellation Road and El Recreo Drive. It was later determined that a voluntary buy-out of flood damaged properties would be the best way to protect residents from future flooding.
“The Town expresses its sincere thanks to each of the homeowners who accepted the relocation package,” said Wickenburg Mayor John Cook. “We also appreciate our long-standing partnership with Maricopa County and are ready to move forward in making this area safer for the entire community.”
Last fall, the Town and the FCD signed an intergovernmental agreement with the goal of purchasing seven homes on nine parcels along Powder House Wash. The goal was to relocate the residents out of harm’s way, and to eventually demolish the flood damaged homes. Since signing the agreement, the Town and the FCD have been working together to accomplish this goal.
Following demolition of the homes, the underlying properties will be transferred to the Town. The acquired property will be maintained by the Town as open space, and will provide room for future floods to pass through the area.