Reservoirs full, evacuations lifted as some flood warnings remain

As excessive runoffs and elevated stream flows continue to flood parts of the valley from recent storms, conditions throughout Arizona have improved, with high-country evacuations being lifted.

According to the National Weather Service in Phoenix, the last few days saw varying amounts of rain, producing up to more than four inches in some areas, soaking Arizonans as well as loading up dams and reservoirs across the state.

As a result, evacuations had been ordered for multiple areas, including Yavapai and Coconino counties, which have since been downgraded or lifted.

Showers have continued throughout parts of Arizona on Thursday, which could mean flooding will take longer to subside.

Lifted evacuations but residents advised to stay alert

Many of the SET/GO statuses issued in the wake of rising streamflows have been lifted or reduced in multiple areas of Yavapai and Coconino counties, but residents are still advised to stay alert as flood warnings may persist.

According to the Coconino County's Twitter, the recent SET order has been lifted, and all residents should return to READY status as creek levels have substantially lowered. Higher than normal flow is still expected in Oak Creek, however, potentially making it impossible to traverse low water crossings and driveways.

Residents are advised to be on the lookout for any new flood warnings or advisories issued by the National Weather Service.

Similar orders issued have also been lifted in parts of Yavapai County, with the sheriff's office sharing updates on Twitter. Over the last hour, both the SET and GO messages for Camp Verde along the Verde River, Beaver Creek, and West Clear Creek were lifted and are no longer in effect.

Additionally, the previous GO message issued for residents in low-lying areas of Cottonwood and Bridgeport along the Verde River has been reduced to a SET status. Residences on Bates Road however are still dealing with standing water, leaving their GO status still in effect.

The Coconino County Public Works Department had also announced that in conjunction with the county sheriff's office that Stoneman Lake Road between Interstate 17 and Lake Mary Road is closed due to running water and muddy conditions.

Full-time Stoneman lake residents are able to access their properties, but all motorists are advised to use caution when traveling through these areas. Coconino County said the closure will remain until the roadway can safely be reopened.

What flood warnings remain?

According to the National Weather Service Phoenix office, flood warnings are still in effect for a good portion of the greater Phoenix area even as levels begin to drop.

"The Salt and Verde rivers above Granite Reef, the Salt and Gila rivers below Granite Reef all the way over to Avondale, and then we also have flood warnings for the Hassayampa river from Wickenburg down to the Gila River and the New River around the Peoria area and west Phoenix," said Phoenix office meteorologist Jared Heil.

Warnings for both the Salt and Verde rivers will stay in place through March 31, but the rest are not expected to last nearly as long, possibly ending by the weekend.

"The longer fuse warnings are for these main river stems like the Verde and the Salt, where we have so much water coming out of the basins. The Salt and Verde river systems, the SRP system, is pretty much full now so there's going to be more water released as the rain to the north and northeast of us continues to runoff," Heil said.

Related: SRP releasing more water as Arizona flood watches are extended

How full are Arizona dams and reservoirs?

According to reservoir data via the Salt River Project, every single dam has surpassed a 90% capacity, with the Roosevelt Dam actually surpassing its maximum intake hovering at around 101% full.

  • Roosevelt Lake (Roosevelt Dam): 101%

  • Bartlett Lake (Bartlett Dam): 97%

  • Canyon Lake (Mormon Flat Dam) & Apache Lake (Horse Mesa Dam): 94%

  • Horseshoe Lake (Horseshoe Dam): 93%

  • Saguaro Lake (Stewart Mountain Dam): 92%

The total reservoir system now sits at 99% full, (2.27 million acre-feet).

Looking at the numbers, SRP is currently releasing around 33,864 cfs (cubic feet per second) from both the Bartlett and Stewart Mountain Dam. For context, the total inflow dwarfs that, surging in at about 58,099 cfs.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona high-country evacuations lifted, some warnings remain