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Navajo Nation declares state of emergency because of flooding

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the tribe’s emergency response personnel have been out in the communities every day helping people recover from recent flooding. On Thursday, Navajo Nation officials declared a state of emergency because of increased flooding. (Carolyn Kaster/ AP Pool, file)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation officials declared a state of emergency Thursday because of increased flooding from recent monsoon rains.

The declaration by the tribe’s Commission on Emergency Management will allow local chapters to access additional resources to help mitigate the impacts of heavy rainfall.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the tribe’s emergency response personnel have been out in the communities every day helping people recover from recent flooding.

“Yes, there are many challenges and not enough personnel to get to every site immediately, but they are making progress,” he said. “The Navajo Division of Transportation also continues to work on repairs to roads that were damaged.

“We recommend all Navajo households, communities and organizations be prepared as we continue to see scattered thunderstorms throughout the Navajo Nation this week,” he added. “As we move forward into the fall and winter seasons, we need everyone to be proactive and plan ahead for more severe weather.”

Nez said tribal health workers have been going to various communities providing support and assistance for elderly residents and those with health conditions.

A flood watch remains in effect throughout this week on the tribe’s vast reservation that covers parts of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah.