Navajo President Begaye and Vice President Nez encourage the public to remain safe during the rainstorm and not attempt to cross flooded washes, like this one located west of Gallup, N.M. (Photo by Rick Abasta)
CHINLE, ARIZONA — A 44-year-old disabled Navajo woman from Chinle, Arizona who was swept away during flooding in Chinle on August 2 has been found. The body of Elouise Halwood was discovered Monday morning below Junction Overlook.
Her body was carried by fast-moving flash flood wateres some five miles from where the truck she was riding in overturned in the swollen de Chelly Wash about 7 p.m. on Sunday evening.
Chinle residents reported heavy rain and pea-sized hail starting about 5 p.m. Sunday.
“The female individual was recovered. We are concluding the search and rescue,”Jesse Delmar, executive director of Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, “Please be safe out there, don’t attempt to cross flooded areas.
He thanked division personnel, Arizona Department of Public Safety and community members who helped in the rescue and recovery efforts.
The helicopter crew from ADPS evacuated nine people from Canyon de Chelly, in addition to providing air support for the search and rescue.
More than two inches of hailstorm was reported. Canyon de Chelly and the main community were flooded, including schools and several public buildings.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye urged the public to be careful when traveling through flooded areas.
“The Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety is working with other resources to ensure Navajo residents are safe in the aftermath of the storm,” said President Begaye.
He added, “The nation is being blessed with a lot of moisture, but that also comes with flash floods. The public needs to respect Mother Nature and not take any chances, especially with floods.
Vice President Nez said, “There is still rain in the forecast. Be careful out there, don’t cross flooded washes.”