Category Archives: sedona news

The Aftermath of the Sedona Flooding – New Photos

The Aftermath of the Sedona Flood – More Photos Showing Clean-up Underway Throughout Sedona

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Yesterday a car was wedged between these two bears that greet visitors entering Tlaquepaque. Today, most of the cars have been cleared although a few still remain. One of the Managers at the Oak Creek Brewery told us that over 50 people were trapped inside the Brewery for over two hours, watching as people trapped in the flood held onto trees waiting to be rescued, unsure if they would live or die. They said, “When the cars started slamming into the building, that was when it got really scary.”

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Yesterday, the bronze elk (by local artist Chris Navarro) pictured above was laying on it’s side with a car on top as you might recall. Today, he has been restored to his full splendor – believe it or not, the elk won out over the car. The car sustained significant damage and the elk shows the sturdiness of bronze – he is completely unharmed!

The owners of the Secret Garden Cafe told us that nearly 2 feet of water stood inside the restaurant where they and customers were also trapped for hours. They watched as the car came slamming into the courtyard outside their front doors and took out the 10 ft bronze elk, landing on top. Owner, Candace Peterson showed me her screensaver on her cell phone – an all-too-close-up photo of the car “parked” precariously infront of her business. Thanks to volunteers, the inside of the restaurant is already cleared out although the beautiful “garden” is still filled with mud at the moment. They plan to re-open Monday morning after they’ve had time to finish cleaning up.

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Over 40 volunteers showed up this morning at Tlaquepaque to begin major clean-up efforts. Emergency Management Teams were on hand, plumbers, cable crews, gas crews, etc. all worked together to repair the damage from the flood in order to get Tlaquepaque up and running in time for Fiesta del Tlaquepaque on Saturday. Within hours, the difference was clear. In many areas of Tlaquepaque, you can’t even tell there was a flood yesterday.

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Proof of how “many hand make light work.” I’m told this business took the brunt of the flooding yesterday with up to 8″ of standing water inside that receded into a foot deep of mud they had to clear out this morning. I was stunned when I peeked inside and could not see any remnants of the flood. Thanks to all the volunteers and hard-working business owners at Tlaquepaque!

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Onlookers stood trapped on the balcony of the Oak Creek Brewery yesterday watching helplessly as many people stranded in their vehicles waited for rescue. Today, Portal Lane (below) is open again, it’s just a “dirt” road today as they continue to clear the mud and debris.

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About 80% of the businesses at Tlaquepaque received flooding damage. Some reported up to 8″ of standing water in their businesses as a wall of water came rushing through. Adrienne Harris, Owner of  Cucina Sedona and Verdigris Gallery at Tlaquepaque told us that yesterday was a VERY bad day for her, “My home was flooded, two of my businesses were flooded and my car was totalled.” Thankfully, her third business, the Wild West Wine Co., an upstairs business at Tlaquepaque was unaffected and both of her businesses plan to re-open on Tuesday. Her sister, Leslie’s business, Diva Sedona, located across from Rene’s was also hard hit. Today, many tenants were ripping out carpet and sucking water and mud out of their beautiful businesses. Already today Renee Taylor Gallery, El Rincon Ristorante, Eclectic Image Gallery, Nectar, Feliz Navidad, Inner Eye Gallery and many others who were directly affected were open for business again. The remaining businesses like Secret Garden Cafe, the Oak Creek Brewery, and Rene’s plan to re-open tomorrow or by early next week at the latest. Fiesta del Tlaquepaque is also scheduled to go off without a hitch tomorrow from 10 am to 5 pm with performances throughout Tlaquepaque, artist exhibitions, musical performances and much more.

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The Hummingbird House on the corner of Brewer Road and Ranger Road sustained the most damage of any business in Sedona. Victims of the flood tell us that a vehicle was washed into the bridge at this intersection creating a damn. When it could no longer hold the pressure of the back-up, it burst through and the “wall of water” many described came barreling through the Tlaquepaque parking lot down a gulley that passes through Portal Lane and normally behind Tlaquepaque. This deluge picked up vehicles parked there and started tossing them around like beachballs. Had it not been for that first car getting stuck in the gulley, the extent of the flooding would not have been so devastating.

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2 women were trapped inside the Hummingbird House where 3 feet of water stood outside, rising. The Fire Department had to break through the glass windows to rescue the women inside. Today, the owners and other volunteers sift through the wreckage of their beautiful antique store.

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Flooding occured in other parts of Sedona as well including Coffee Pot Dr. where a mudslide was said to have “thrown vehicles” into a local flooring business. Onlookers said it appeared as though the river of mud and water and literally uprooted the roadway and today, many large chunks of road were being cleared around the area although Coffee Pot Drive itself was completely unscatched.

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Sedona Adventure Tours appeared to have sustained significant flooding damage from the mudslide/flood on Coffee Pot Road.

Thanks to the efforts of many hard working volunteers, business owners, clean-up crews, service crews, emergency management teams and citizens, Sedona is getting quite a clean-up makeover today. Businesses plan to be open for a busy September weekend, roadways are clear for travel and if you head to Tlaquepaque this weekend you’re in for a real treat at Fiesta del Tlaquepaque. Please support Sedona businesses by visiting us this weekend. The leaves are just starting to turn in Oak Creek Canyon so come take a drive, take a hike, do some shopping and dining and enjoy the beauty of Sedona. Mother Nature may have had her way with us yesterday, but she also provides us with one of the most spectacular settings in the Southwest to enjoy every single day.

For videos of Tlaquepaque businesses you can plan to visit this weekend, go to our www.Sedona.tv homepage and start exploring the Shops & Plazas category!

Sedona Caught in Flood – Approximately 12 Cars Washed Away

Interview with Wendy Lippman, General Manager and Resident Partner of Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village:


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Sedona, Arizona 6:00 p.m. – Yes, we got a little bit of a storm here today! Pea-sized hail and heavy monsoon rains wreaked havoc on many parts of Sedona early this afternoon around 1 p.m. After hearing multiple reports of severe flooding at Tlaquepaque and Los Abrigados, I grabbed my cameras and headed down there to see for myself. Here’s what I found. Fortunately, no one was hurt. There were reports of some people being trapped in buildings for a short time until the storm passed and of course, there was some damage to businesses.

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Crews are working furiously to clear the vehicles from the entrance to Los Abrigados Resort & Spa on Portal Lane where there are vehicles stacked on top of each other in the ditch, over the bridge and actually in Tlaquepaque near the Secret Garden Cafe. One car knocked over a 10 foot bronze statue by Chris Navarro. A couple inches of mud and debris cover the Tlaquepaque and Los Abrigados parking lots. The mud is feet deep behind Los Abrigados near the creek.

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Thankfully, bulldozers and volunteers were already on sight clearing the debris and there was only minor cosmetic damage at both Tlaquepaque and Los Abrigados. Tlaquepaque plans to reopen tomorrow – some businesses even remained open today – and the events for one of Sedona’s biggest festivals, Fiesta del Tlaquepaque this Saturday are going to be on “rain or shine” according to Wendy Lippman of Tlaquepaque. Flooding has already receded, roads are clear and many volunteers are helping clean up the mess.

Lightning really does strike twice. The young owner of the vehicle pictured below works at the Renee Taylor Gallery in Tlaquepaque. A couple months ago, a tree fell at Tlaquepaque and her car was crushed. She just recently completed repairs on her vehicle. Today, it was the most damaged vehicle out of all those involved in the incident at Tlaquepaque and Los Abrigados. Looks like she was part of the “Cash for Clunkers” program!

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Interview with owner of the above vehicle:


Behind Basha’s Shopping Plaza, there was a mudslide across Coffee Pot Dr. that washed two cars into a local carpet and flooring business. Immediately behind Basha’s stood about 6 feet of water – a small lake!

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The flooding has receded and Tlaquepaque hopes to have most of debris cleared in time for one of Sedona’s biggest annual festivals, Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, this coming Saturday. Don’t let this mess deter you! Workers have already cleared most of the debris, businesses remain open and Sedona’s beauty is intact!

Interview immediately after Tlaquepaque flooding with Tlaquepaque Manager, Wendy Lippman

Joanie Wolter Wins Sedona Arts Center Members Open 2009 People's Choice Award

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SEDONA, Ariz. (August 11, 2009 ) Joanie Wolter’s Big Ass Raven Sculpture won the People’s Choice Award during the Sedona Arts Center’s 3rd Annual Members Open Exhibition held July 3rd through July 26th . The award was determined by ballots cast by all visitors to the 3rd Annual Members Open Exhibition which ran July 3rd through July 26th in the Community Gallery. The award was presented by Shirley Eichten Albrecht, the Art Center’s Gallery Director, on August 7th, during the First Friday Reception.

The artist, Joanie Wolter, was born and reared in Southern California. She earned a degree in sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a teaching credential in elementary education from Long Beach State. Most of her teaching career, which lasted 37 years, was spent working with “at risk” students in alternative educational settings.

Joanie has always been a crafter, having done knitting, crocheting, sewing, and tole painting as hobbies for years. She fell in love with mosaics after taking classes in Long Beach, where she and Charlie lived. After working with very needy students all day long, she found that going out to her workshop was a welcome respite, and offered her a sense of peace and solitude.

She discovered the Sedona Art Center shortly after their move, and took many classes before finding that ceramics was her favorite medium. As a result, she’s a regular at SAC’s ceramics studio, and has taken additional classes from guest artists, where she learned to work with paper clay. She’s always had an appreciation for the beauty of the outdoors, particularly flowers, and began making them from paper clay to embellish her hand built pieces.

Recently Joanie has taken another artistic turn and has found a new passion – sculpting. The whimsical pieces she creates reflect who she is – a little goofy and fun loving. These sculptures are made from a low-fire fiber clay which she finds gives them durability and sturdiness. Most of her “senior series” pieces are modeled after her – a full figured, middle-aged woman ready to live life to its fullest.

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The winning piece was the result of Joanie’s fascination with the ravens in Sedona, which are so much larger than the ones in her native state of California. She loves to watch them soar endlessly in the sky and “make themselves heard” seemingly communicating with fellow ravens while gazing at the world from a chosen perch in trees near her home. She couldn’t resist using that fascination to create the charming winning piece, which has already been purchased. However, for your enjoyment another raven piece is currently being shown the Arts Center’s Fine Art Gallery located at the end of Uptown Sedona – on the right, just before entering Oak Creek Canyon.

She and her husband, Charlie, became full-time residents of Sedona the day after Joanie’s retirement was official in 2007 – and have not looked back. They and their three cats love the serenity and beauty that surrounds them.

This Members Open Exhibition was created in 2007 to afford all Sedona Arts Center Member Artists the opportunity to show a piece of their finest work in a non-juried exhibit. The Annual JURIED Members Exhibition is held in March. For more information on the gallery and upcoming exhibitions, please call 928-282-3865 or visit our Website at http://www.sedonaartscenter.com/.