Navajo Nation president signs 'declaration' after flooding

Posted at 10:54 AM, Aug 08, 2016

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has signed an emergency declaration in response to flash flooding that damaged homes, washed out roadways and killed livestock last week in Shiprock and Chinle.

The declaration signed Sunday means all Navajo Nation divisions and departments immediately must respond to communities impacted by the heavy rainfall, according to tribal officials.

Flash floods in Shiprock forced some residents to evacuate to a tribal government building.

Flooding severely damaged a dozen or so homes, and a number of vehicles were washed around on water-streamed roads, Navajo Nation spokesman Mihio Manus said.

"We don't have an assessment of damage yet, but we know that roads were washed out and people lost livestock," Manus said.

Parts of Arizona saw street flooding and other effects of storm runoff last week. A few places in southern Arizona had over 5 inches of rain in four days, according to the National Weather Service.

Begaye said he toured some of the flooded areas and wants to use all of the tribe's resources to help residents.

"I traveled to Shiprock on Saturday to assess the damage to the community. Roads had been washed out, and homes had been destroyed," he said. "Although we are thankful for the monsoon rains, at this time we see that it's necessary to implement a declaration to assist those that are currently displaced and are in need of food, clothing or shelter."