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  • Avoid The Loop This Weekend

    Jul 23, 2021 | Read More News
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    After damage from Thursday night’s storms, and predicted heavy rain for the next 48 hours, Pima County recommends avoiding The Chuck Huckelberry Loop this weekend.

    Due to high volume of flow in waterways, mud and debris collect in low-lying areas like Loop underpasses. River mud and silt are especially slippery and it is dangerous to walk, run, or bike across these areas.  In addition, dangerous debris that can affect the structural integrity of pathways on the Loop may still be present even after flood waters recede.

    Surging water and debris damaged some river rails, and the rails are missing in some places.​
    Loop rail damage and water over path
    It is strongly advised that the public not use The Loop until such time as staff can assess and repair any damage that may have occurred during these extraordinary monsoonal events.

    Forecasts from the National Weather Service show an increased chance of strong thunderstorm development and heavy rainfall through Saturday, July 24.

    Even if it is not raining on The Loop, rain that has fallen upstream will flow into the washes and rivers hours later. Water levels may rise suddenly and cause dangerous conditions.

    Preliminary data indicate that The Rillito Creek ran at about 22,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the La Cholla bridge on Thursday night.  The flow was very close to a 50-year storm event which is 23,000 cfs. The Rillito’s 100-year storm event is 32,000 cfs.  Pima County recorded 13,000 cfs on the Pantano Wash at Vail, the second highest recorded at that location.

    Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation (NRPR) staff have closed several locations on The Loop. As of Friday, July 23, noon, the following places on The Loop are closed:
    • All underpasses on the Rillito, Pantano and Julian
    • Cañada del Oro Magee Road underpass
    • Santa Cruz east bank, south of Ina Road
    • Santa Cruz west bank, between Sunset Road and Camino del Cerro Road
    With more precipitation expected, more closures also can be expected. 

    After the monsoonal activity concludes and water levels recede, NRPR staff will work swiftly to remove debris and sediment on the path and make any necessary repairs. The Loop will open at various closure points only after the area is deemed safe.