The Main Stream

Jul 15, 2011 8:08 PM

Monument Fire affecting Tombstone water

COCHISE COUNTY - The Monument Fire was miles away from Tombstone, but it's still taking its toll on the town's water supply.

Tombstone's main water source are springs bubbling up in Miller Canyon, but the recent flooding after the fire has messed it all up.

Jack Wright, Tombstone's Water Operator said, "It's moved some boulders through here. You have seen caverns that didn't exist. This was a drivable road a month ago."

City worker Michael Kern said, "It's a mess man. I didn't even imagine it to be half this bad."

Miles of pipe survived but those pipes are just part of their old system. The crucial catch basins didn't make it. Wright said, "I can't even show you exactly where that catch basin was because the area is unrecognizable to me because it's all changed from the flooding."

As of right now Tombstone still has water thanks to some wells, but they said they're just not enough. Kern said, "Our wells can keep up but if we had a major fire or something in town that could drain our water supply really fast."

Because of that risk, workers said they're not going to let Mother Nature beat them, but fixing the mess won't be easy.

Wright said, "It's do-able. To think they did it in 1880 and did it all by hand, I guess we can find a way to put it back."

City works said they're confident they can get in here, get everything cleaned up, and build new water basins but they're going to have to wait because the flooding probably isn't done. They said if they do any work the next flood will likely wash it all away.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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