The ALERT System originated in Yavapai County in 1989 with the design and implementation of the Sedona/Oak Creek flood warning system, and was followed shortly thereafter by the design and implementation of the Prescott area early warning system. Since that time the District has continued to expand the ALERT System to cover watersheds impacting communities within Yavapai County.
“Currently the Yavapai County ALERT System network collects data from 101 rain gauges, 28 water level gauges and 15 weather stations through a network of 7 repeaters. In addition, YCFCD receives data the Flood Control District of Maricopa County which owns and operates 39 gauges in southern Yavapai County (39 rain, 7 stream, 3 weather stations), as well as data from Mohave County which owns and operates two gauges in western Yavapai County (2 weather stations).
All data is received at our base station in Prescott and used to assess potential flooding threats in watersheds that impact Yavapai County. Data from historical rainfall and stream flow events also provides information to the County when determining potential drainage and roadway improvements.
In addition, the National Weather Service in Flagstaff receives the data and uses it to compare actual ground conditions (that observed in the gauges) with those observed in their radar imagery and other weather forecast products. This aids the National Weather Service in their determination to issue flood watches, flood warnings and severe weather advisories.
Other agencies that directly receive data from the gauge network include the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC), Salt River Project (SRP) and the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC).