When it rains in Miami it pours in Mackey Camp

The rains came, then a tsunami thundered down the Miami creek. A consequence of the Telegraph Fire, trees, bushes, dirt and soot were flushed down Miami streets. Arizona television stations documented the natural disaster on Thursday, July 30, 2021. Area resident Fred Licano described the flash flood as a raging Mississippi River.

For some time, Mackey Camp residents have been petitioning local government for a bridge and a safe road. The flooding this week has created a dire situation. It was only a matter of time before a Mackey Camp resident decided that Governor Ducey should weigh in on the controversy. A quarter of a century of frustration motivated Fred Licano to call the governor’s office.

Fred explained to the governor’s assistant on Thursday, July 22, at 1 p.m. that the Arizona monsoon rains had precipitated an indefensible crisis in Mackey Camp. He explained that about 20 families are affected by the flooding. He blamed the intransigent tone deafness of Gila County government. He observed that public safety should be a priority of local government.

The Mackey Camp problem has a solution. The director of Gila County Public Works should not postpone road construction. I have encouraged Gila County government to construct a road around the property of an uncooperative landowner. What are they waiting for?

Four months ago, on April 7, I wrote to Supervisor Humphrey about public safety in Mackey Camp. Gila County has known since 2010 about the need for a bridge. I warned that an unsuspecting motorist, taking a wrong turn, could plunge to their death. I noted that the specter of an unnecessary tragedy is always present in Mackey Camp.

Local government should contact the Arizona legislature to obtain financial relief similar to the funds given to people who experienced a loss caused by the Telegraph Fire. Local government should invite Governor Ducey to survey the flood damage in Miami; he can sign legislation to address flooding damage in our community. A civil engineering firm should be hired to develop a plan to diminish the impact of future flooding. Governor Ducey could also sign an executive order that makes the current road in Mackey Camp a public road.

Ernest Escobedo