Caution Urged on Navajo Nation during Rainstorm Conditions

A tornado was spotted at Comb Ridge by Bluff, Utah.

A tornado on Saturday was spotted at Comb Ridge by Bluff, Utah.

WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA—Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez urge tribal members to be safe during rainstorms passing over the Navajo nation.

“We encourage the traveling public to be cautious with the recent storms arising on the Navajo Nation. There have been marble sized hail, a tornado and rockslides reported,” said President Begaye.

He encouraged the public to report any storm related damages to their local law enforcement and to allow emergency personnel to do their job.

Storms caused rocks to fall on Highway 95 in Utah.

Storms caused rocks to fall on Highway 95 in Utah.

Vice President Jonathan Nez was in Monument Valley Saturday, June 6, 2015, and he, too, encouraged public safety.

“We saw some ominous clouds, but did not see the tornado. We are requesting that the general public slow down when traveling and to be careful during the storm,” said Vice President Nez.

Around 8 p.m., Rose Whitehair, director of the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management, sent photos of a tornado touching down northeast of Monument Valley.

“There was (silver) dollar sized hail and multiple rockslides in the Montezuma Creek and Bluff area,” Whitehair said. “No injuries or damages reported thus far.”

Herman Shorty, chairman of the Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management said the commissioners would be on standby and would convene on Sun., if necessary.

Otherwise, he said the commission would meet on June 8, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Emergency Operations Center at the Navajo Transportation Complex in Tse Bonito, New Mexico for updates and preparation for possible action.

“I’m most concerned with the road between Bluff and Aneth, Montezuma Creek included. We must act as prudently as possible,” Shorty said.

The traveling public is encouraged to stay away from Highway 95 near the Comb Ridge in Bluff, Utah. There were reports of rockslides in the area and the NNDEM is awaiting confirmation on road closures and alternate detour routes.

More updates will be provided as information becomes available.

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