February has always been the month for floods in the Verde Valley and this weekend was no exception.
This past weekend’s rains saw Oak Creek swell to nearly 7,000 cubic feet per second and the Verde River in Clarkdale saw its flow rise to more than 4,500 cfs. By 10 a.m. Monday, the Verde river had risen to about 10,000 cfs.
Peak flows Sunday according to the U.S. Geologic Survey were:
-Verde River at Clarkdale: 4,590 cfs @ 10:45 a.m.
-Oak Creek at Sedona: 6.920 cfs @ 9:30 a.m.
-Oak Creek @ Cornville: 6,780 cfs @ 2:15 p.m
-Dry Beaver Creek @ SR 179: 5,190 cfs @ 2:30 p.m.
-Wet Beaver Creek: 1,500 cfs @ 4:30 p.m.
As a point of comparison, the highest peak flow ever on the Verde River occurred on Feb. 20, 1993.
Frank Brewsaugh, then the field office chief for the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, said the floodwaters crested at 63,000 cfs at the Clarkdale gauge station and 105,000 cfs at the monitoring station nine miles southeast of Camp Verde.
Dallas Lane, then a captain with the Cottonwood Fire Department and local disaster services chairman for the American Red Cross, said 250 families had to be evacuated from their homes during the 1993 flood. Lane told The Verde Independent that the local devastation occurred down a 26-mile stretch of the Verde River, one-half mile wide, from Patio Town in Clarkdale to Verde Lakes Estates in Camp Verde.