FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Governor Doug Ducey is ordering Arizona National Guard troops to the Flagstaff area after flash flooding from monsoon storms inundated area homes.
In a statement Saturday, Ducey said the guard members will assist with flood mitigation measures like filling sandbags.
30 members will be on the ground Saturday afternoon. 30 more members will assist Sunday, and 40 will stay through the week to continue to help the efforts.
Most, Major Kyle Key says, were only 20 or so miles away doing annual training.
"We just pivoted those soldiers over there and re-directed them to the Coconino Public Works building,” Arizona National Guard Spokesman Major Kyle Key. "They accomplished bagging about 5,000 bags. They put them on 65 pallets, shrink-wrapped them and got them ready for transportation."
Major Key expects the soldiers to stay until at least Friday. He's prepared to keep the detail in place longer if necessary.
"We have 600,000 sandbags to fill. You know, it's just a number. But, it's going to be a challenge to get that done. I think we are up for the challenge. It will be a lot of work. But, we are looking forward to doing it,” added Major Key.
The guardsmen working in Flagstaff are from all over the state, but some know the Flagstaff community quite well.
"There are some who are from this area. (The National Guard.) That is what's beautiful about it. We are part of the community in which we serve,” added Major Key.
The governor's office also says the Arizona Department of Corrections also has people helping in Coconino County.
The main goal right now is to help fill sandbags, according to the governor, calling it an 'all-hands on deck' effort.
Ducey added that his office is working around the clock with local officials to get all the needed help to Coconino County as soon as possible.
Allen Clark, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management director added that they're in constant communication with local officials and are coordinating with Governor Ducey's office "to ensure residents up north are safe."