BISBEE — While the National Weather Service is predicting a later start to this year’s monsoon season, residents in flood-prone areas are being advised to start preparing now for heavy rains.

Cochise County Public Works is once again providing free sand and sandbags to those who need them at locations throughout the area. And this year, citizens will have access to an online map where they can get up-to-date information on flooded and closed roads.

“As details come in to the county, we will update the map in real time to help our residents navigate roads safely,” said Gabe Lavine, emergency services coordinator.

The map can be accessed at https://www.cochise.az.gov/emergency.

The county is also asking residents to heed warning signs during monsoon events, particularly when it comes to road closures.

“Do not cross flooded washes, and please do not drive around barricades,” Lavine said. “Several people had to be rescued last year because they ignored this advice. Turn around, don’t drown.”

Sand and sandbags are available across Cochise County, but residents will need to bring their own shovels and fill the bags themselves. To prevent the bags from disintegrating, they will be placed inside a metal drum next to the sand at the following locations:

Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Willcox Road Yard, 500 W. Railroad Avenue

• Bisbee Road Yard, 1229 Hereford Road

• Douglas Road Yard, 3665 N. Leslie Canyon Road

• Benson Road Yard, 901 E. 4th Street

• Elfrida Road Yard, 3988 W. Thompson Road

• Cochise County Hereford Pit Material Yard – approximately half-mile east of Y Lightning Road

Sandbags are available at any time at the following locations:

• Bowie Area – 766 W. Business Loop off I-10

• Portal Area – Intersection of Foothills & Portal Road

• Coronado Lakes Estates (Douglas) — off Cipriano Dr. at the Water Tanks

• Willow Lakes Subdivision (Benson) — at the Water Tank

• Elfrida Fire Department, 10293 N. Central Highway

• Whetstone Fire District, 2422 N. Firehouse Ln., Whetstone

• Palominas Fire (Hereford Station), 10202 E. Highway 92

• Palominas Fire (Miracle Valley Station), 9695 E. Highway 92

For information on monsoon safety and sandbag availability visit https://www.cochise.az.gov/highway-and-floodplain/monsoon-awareness.

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