WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management issued a severe weather warning Monday regarding anticipated heavy rainfall that is expected to begin on Wednesday.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a Tuesday press release, “The weather forecast shows heavy rainfall this week beginning on Wednesday morning in the western portion of the Navajo Nation and moving east throughout the day. Please be prepared, make sure your family and elders have essential items such as food, water, and firewood.
“Flash flooding can carry away people and vehicles if people enter flooded areas, so please be very cautious and do not enter flooded areas on foot or by vehicle,” Nez warned. “As we move forward into the fall and winter seasons, we need our people to be prepared for more severe weather.”
He added, “Our administration continues to offer support to several communities that are still recovering from monsoon rainfall in July. The Navajo Division of Transportation’s work crews also continue to work on repairs to roads that were washed out in July.”
Jared Touchin, spokesman for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, said that if chapters need assistance with response efforts, they should email the Navajo Nation Division of Community Development at MonsoonRelief@NavajoChapters.org.
Community Health Representatives, under the Navajo Department of Health, are also providing support and assistance for elderly residents and those with health conditions, Touchin noted. The Navajo Division of Transportation will work as quickly as possible to clear roadways and repair roads in the event of more road washouts this week.
Vice President Myron Lizer said, “September is National Preparedness Month, as we turn our attention to the expected rainfall this week we must be ‘Navajo Ready’ by setting aside time to create or review your own emergency preparedness plan and to consider registering as a disaster response volunteer.”
Lizer added, “Don’t let the unpleasant thought of an emergency deter you from making a plan to protect your family and yourself, and to serve others in need. Being prepared may not prevent a disaster, but it will give you confidence to meet the challenge. We have to work together and provide as much support as possible.”
The Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, Navajo Division of Transportation, and Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management will continue coordinating with county officials, chapter officials, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and state emergency officials to provide additional resources and updates, Touchin said.
He said the following forecasts are provided by the National Weather Service for areas of the Navajo Nation:
- Wednesday, Sept. 1: Thunderstorms will move from west to east early Wednesday morning through the afternoon hours. A flash flood watch, which means ingredients are coming together, is in effect from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. Some of the heaviest thunderstorms can produce rainfall rates between one and two inches per hour. Lingering showers and thunderstorms will be possible after the heaviest rain passes.
- Wednesday, Sept. 1, 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.: Heaviest rain developing over western Navajo Nation in the communities of Leupp, Tuba City, Tonalea, and Kaibeto.
- Wednesday, Sept. 1. 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 2: Heaviest rain moving east into the communities of Dilkon, Jeddito, Pinon, and Kayenta.
- Wednesday, Sept. 1, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Heaviest rain continuing to move east into the communities of Ganado, Window Rock, Chinle, Tsaile.
- Wednesday, Sept. 1, noon to 3 p.m.: Heaviest rain continuing to move east into communities of Gallup, Newcomb, and Shiprock.
- Thursday, Sept. 2: Drying out. 20% chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms, mainly near Window Rock and the Chuska Mountains.
- Friday, Sept. 3: Continued drying. 20% chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms, mainly near Window Rock and the Chuska Mountains.
- Saturday, Sept. 4: Typical monsoon day. A 30%chance of afternoon thunderstorms, mainly near Window Rock and the Chuska Mountains.
- Sunday, Sept. 5: A little more moisture. A 40%chance of afternoon thunderstorms, mainly near Window Rock and the Chuska Mountains, and areas south of Highway 264.
- Monday, Sept. 6: Typical monsoon day. A 30%chance of afternoon thunderstorms, mainly near Window Rock and the Chuska Mountains
- Tuesday, Sept. 7: Typical monsoon day. A 30%chance of afternoon thunderstorms, mainly near Window Rock and the Chuska Mountains.
Touchin said weather related information is available through the National Weather Service website at https://www.weather.gov/