Health department warns of possible Gila River flooding in Graham County

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: This is what the Gila River looked like at about 2 p.m. as it crossed the 8th Avenue Bridge in Safford.

Staff Reports

GRAHAM COUNTY – Due to a large amount of rainfall in the upper basin in New Mexico, the Gila River is experiencing above-normal water levels. Water stages in Graham County are expected to peak Tuesday morning at 1 a.m. in the Gila Valley at 21 feet. At this level, there may be some flooding of farm fields and water encroaching on roads to bridges.

If needed, sandbags are available at the Graham County Fairgrounds by the maintenance building.

As of 5:30 p.m., the gage height at the Gila River at the Head of Safford Valley northwest of Solomon was at about 16 feet – up from 9.5 feet on Aug. 19. The current streamflow in the area is about 5,700 ft3/s.

For comparison’s sake, at the monitoring station at Duncan where it flooded today, the river maxed out at nearly 22,000 ft3/s and a height of 23.2 feet.