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Video featuring ash-mud slide filmed in Pima County goes viral

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TUCSON (KVOA) - A video that captured ash-mudslide was shot in Canada del Oro Wash on Wednesday after just light rain happened on the Catalina Mountains has captured Southern Arizona some national spotlight.

The video has been viewed over 130,000 times on Twitter alone.

The water in this flash flood appears black because of the ash and mud that has mixed with the water as it rushed down the mountain into the wash. 

This slide crossed a service road on the north end of the Catalinas.

"Monsoons are ramping up and we should see a lot of rainfall from what I understand on Monday and that will be a true test," said Chrissy Pearson, public information officer with Coronado National Forest. "The rain we saw earlier this week wasn't Monsoon, so why did so much water come off the mountain?" 

Brian Jones with Pima County Flood Control said, "another thing that is important to understand is that it takes smaller rainfall events to create bigger floods. So rainfall events we wouldn't have to be concerned about (before) and a typical Monsoon could also be quite severe."

Lighter, longlasting rains are more likely to cause mudslides and ash flows than heavy, shorterlasting rains.

Chrissy Pearson says more videos like this are likely to be filmed in the future.

"It is inevitable that we will have some sort of mud debris flow. We will try to do what we can," Pearson said. "We have done some repair work and put in water bars to divert some of the water, but some of the debris is too high and there is nothing we can do now."

The Bighorn Fire did burn well over 100,000 acres of land in the Catalina Mountains. This means that there is a lot of ash and scared soil up there just waiting to slide down the mountain.

Southern Arizona residents will likely see many more videos like this one over the next few years.

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Daniel McFarland

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