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Flood Repairs Finally Completed

Coronado National Memorial

National Park News

After four years and about $2 million, Coronado National Memorial has finally completed the repairs needed as a result of two major flooding events. In July 2006, the park received 13 inches of rain in a 24-hour period – considered by the Weather Service to be a 1000 year weather event. Significant debris flows brought thousands of tons of debris from the steep mountain sides down into the park’s main drainage, taking out the only road through the park, overturning trees and fences, washing away shade structures and picnic tables, and closing the park to the public for several weeks.  In July 2008, a similar but less substantial event caused a repeat to occur. That flood was categorized as a 500 year weather event. The park has now received extensive Federal Highways funds to clear and realign the main park channel, allowing for proper water flow during the summer monsoon rains.  In addition, the entire park road was repaved and special low water crossings were installed where the new side drainage channels were created in the 2006 flood. Turnouts have been installed along the roadway for visitor and administrative use, the picnic area has been completely rehabilitated, and a new Coronado Cave trailhead has been created in order to keep the Cave Trail out of the main drainage and reduce future repair costs. Putting the park back together has been a tremendous collaborative effort and has included support from the Intermountain Region roads program and directorate, Federal Highways, a Saguaro trail crew, maintenance staff from Chiricahua and Fort Bowie and, of course, all of the staff and volunteers at Coronado.


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