The Investigators

Jun 5, 2014 1:10 AM by Tom McNamara and Paul Birmingham

N4T Investigators: Vail residents worry about flooding after development

There could be some sleepless nights for some Vail residents with monsoon closing in.

They're worried that their neighborhood will be badly flooded again, just like every year. They say things keep getting worse, so they contacted the News 4 Tucson Investigators for help.

The area we're talking about is near Colossal Cave Road and Camino Loma Alta. It's an area that has seen some major development over the past several years. Those living there long before that development say it's created safety issues, and the monsoon brings out the worst of it.

"I see nothing getting better because no one will respond to our plea," says longtime Vail resident, John Pannell.

"It's very dangerous. It's a lot of water running. It's difficult to drive down safely sometimes," adds Jim Lazzeroni, another longtime Vail resident.

The people that live in the area say the problems really began several years back, when a housing development went in, and they put a brand new school right up the road. So now when it rains you get a raging river through the area. Residents say where the asphalt ends, their troubles begin.

"The road gets eroded away so bad, that there's less than one lane to go around the school zone that they put out," Lazzeroni says.

For Bernie Lyford, he flooding is all the more frustrating. This disabled Veteran uses a wheelchair to get around. He lives in constant pain, but still accompanies his grandkids to school when he can. But, the narrow roadway and washboard conditions are tough on his body, and the worry weighs on his mind.

"Everybody up and down this whole road is being affected by this run-off. And, it's not right. It's just not right. There are rights and there are wrongs. And this is wrong," Lyford says.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators asked Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll about the problems with Rex Molly Road.

Carroll says the county did work to fix the drainage issues last year. Beyond that, h is hands are tied, because that portion of Rex Molly that remains unpaved is a private road.

"The county is first off not obligated nor are we allowed to pave private roads. We haven't done that in more than 20 years. I've been on the board for 18 of those almost, and I can tell you we've never had a road crew go out and pave a dirt road for anyone. The truth is, if my mother lived on that road, I couldn't pave it for her," Carroll says.

"Even though this is a private road, the folks here still pay their taxes, they do their due to the county, so we would like to have something in return for that." Pannell says.

Homeowners say they've also asked the state for help, but to no avail. We'll keep you updated on the residents' efforts.

If you have something you'd like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to check out, email us at, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.


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