VERDE VALLEY – Floods along the Verde River and Oak Creek are forecasted to peak into Friday, rising above levels from earlier this month.
“It continues to appear the peaks will occur during the night time period between Thursday and Friday,” said John R. Parsons -- AKA Mr. Verde River. “The Verde (River) at Camp Verde is forecast to be running nearly 100 times greater volume than it is (Thursday) morning and will be more than double its Feb. 3 peak.”
The Colorado Basin River Forecast Center shows peak flows on the Verde river in Camp Verde to rise to 21,000 cubic feet per second, or a rise of about 16 feet Friday morning.
Parsons has been studying flows of the Verde River and its tributaries for 38 years.
The flood watch will continue until Friday at 6 p.m., according to NWS.
According to data from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, Oak Creek at Cornville is forecast to be three feet into flood stage. This peak is about a third higher than the flooding from Feb. 3, according to Parsons.
“Oak Creek at Sedona continues to show an eight-foot rise and a peak in excess of the Feb. 3 event,” he said.
CBRFC shows Wet Beaver Creek has been trimmed slightly to just touch flood-stage levels but the volume is at least double from the Feb. 3 flooding. Dry Beaver Creek will be higher but will appear to look "about the same as the heavy flow earlier this month,” Parsons said.
The Verde River at Clarkdale is forecast to be slightly below the Feb. 3 level.
NWS meteorologist Brian Klimowski said this level of flooding has only happened a handful of times in the last two decades.
“The rises we see in Oak Creek are due to in part the rain that’s on the rim that falls back into Oak Creek, which causes these larger rises,” he said.
According to a NWS Facebook post, many areas have seen above-normal precipitation with some areas nearly 2-3 inches above normal since October.
“However, the northeast part of the state has received the least amount of liquid with drought conditions still in the severe to extreme range,” the post states. “A wet storm system moving into the area later Wednesday into Thursday will significantly add to these totals especially along and south of the Mogollon Rim.”
NWS advises drivers to never drive into a flooded rode. They also advise to stay away from high flowing creeks, rivers and streams.