Dysart Canal Project
Twenty years ago on Sept. 22, 1993, work began on the $12 million Dysart Canal project. The project was designed to prevent flooding of the base in the future by diverting water on the north and east sides of base. It replaced a series of smaller ditches meant to protect the base. Later the Falcon Dunes Gold Course was added to assist in the flood control effort.
Throughout its history, Luke Field/AFB had flooded a number of times. One reason was the base had sunk approximately 17 feet between 1941 and 1992. The drop in altitude was due to the base and surrounding farms taking water out of the aquifer that sat below this area of the West Valley.
The last flood occurred on Sept. 20, 1992. That flood caused extensive damage to aircraft on the flightline, flightline maintenance facilities and base housing. Rocks and dirt covered and filled wheels, brake stacks, struts and afterburner sections on some aircraft. The maintenance buildings in the 900 area had as much as 14 inches of water inside. The parking lots of the Exchange and Commissary were flooded as well as the housing area. While the exact cost of that flood is unknown, the base housing area sustained more than $3 million in damage. Since the completion of the Dysart Canal project, the base has not sustained a major flood.