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Mar 8, 2015

11:24:08 GMT--Snow Storm - North-America - USA

EDIS Number: SS-20150308-47239-USA

Date / time: 08/03/2015 11:22:33 [UTC]

Event: Snow Storm

Area: North-America

Country: USA

State/County: State of Arizona

Location: [Navajo Nation regions]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: Moderate


Navajo Nation officials declared a state of emergency after snowstorms, rain and high winds impacted chapters across the reservation. The tribe's Commission on Emergency Management approved a resolution Thursday because the recent severe weather has resulted in flooding, power outages and muddy conditions, and is impacting residents living in isolated and remote areas. The resolution authorizes the tribe to provide resources such as personnel, equipment, supplies and funding to address the health, safety and welfare of residents. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed the resolution Thursday evening, according to a press release from his office. "We take this action to bring relief to rural areas where storms have caused severe mud conditions left by melting snow that have caused hardship to many," Shelly said in the press release. According to the press release, the chapters of Chilchinbeto, Coalmine Canyon, Cove, Hardrock, LeChee and PiƱon in Arizona; Oljato in Utah; and Crystal, Tooh Haltsooi and Tse Alnaozt'i'i in New Mexico have declared emergencies. Gerald Henderson is the president of the Tse Alnaozt'i'i Chapter ALERT, which stands for authorized local emergency response team. Henderson said the nine-member team has been helping chapter residents since Feb. 28. "I know the first night we had to pull out a couple of vehicles," Henderson said about the muddy road conditions.

The main concern was checking on the elderly, and on residents who live in the outlying areas of the chapter's boundaries and along the Ch'ooshgai Mountains, he said. He added that deliveries of bottled water, flour and potatoes, as well as canned green beans, corn and tamales, were made to some residents. The winter weather left roads impassable, and areas near the mountain were snow packed, Henderson added. As of Friday, personnel from the Bureau of Indian Affairs' road department were starting to grade some roads in the chapter, and Henderson noticed roads were beginning to dry. The community also received help from the tribe's community health representatives program, public health nurses from the Northern Navajo Medical Center and the American Red Cross in Farmington. The Red Cross responded by providing cots, blankets and hygiene supplies to three chapter residents who were sheltered at the chapter house for four days, Henderson said. Newcomb Chapter President David Randolph Sr. declared a state of emergency for the chapter Tuesday. Lawrence John, the chapter manager, said chapter officials faced such concerns as making sure residents had access to firewood and water. With the weather warming, concerns now are turning to providing hay for livestock and working with the Navajo Department of Transportation to grade the primary roads in the community. There were no medical emergencies during the winter storm, but a number of vehicles required assistance after getting stuck in the mud, John said.

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