Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Sept. 21

Navajo Nation declares weather-related state of emergency

WINDOW ROCK - The Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management and Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. declared a state of emergency due to impassable road conditions and the potential for flooding resulting from recent rain and snowstorms.

The state of emergency frees Navajo resources and funding to help to address needs of Navajo citizens who may have been impacted by the weather, particularly in higher elevation areas.

"Protecting life, limb and property is always our first priority," President Shirley said. "Real dangers exists in our remote areas [that are] miles from paved roads, especially with the possibility of flooding ... and muddy conditions."

The Navajo Nation Council recently approved legislation to give each chapter $25,000 to assist with the weather emergency. Gov. Napolitano also approved sending sandbags.

Herman Shorty, chairman of the Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management, said 12 Navajo communities have been affected so far, and that the commission received additional resolutions from several communities seeking assistance.

"From the recent snow and rains, the grounds have become saturated," Shorty said. "It's just made the combination of mud and frozen ground thawing out enough to where it's impassable."

Additional information will be available on the Navajo Hopi Observer Web site at www.nhonews.com.

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