Navajo Nation Officials Urges Caution When Traveling during Winter Storm

— It’s going to be cold and snowy on parts of the Navajo Nation for the next week as a major winter storm rolls in on February 27.

Navajo Nation officials, including Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, encourage tribal members to check on the elderly and ensure they are taken care of before hunkering down as the storm hits home.

“Please visit your elders and make sure they have enough wood, food and water for the storm. A lot of our elders live in remote areas and they are the ones most in need of assistance,” President Shelly said.

He noted that some elders might be in need medical attention or assistance with feeding their livestock.

“Use caution when traveling, especially under snowy and icy conditions. Please don’t attempt to travel if it isn’t necessary,” President Shelly said.

During the recent snowstorm earlier this week, five to six chapters were affected by the heavy snow, which made travel on several roads impossible.

Mexican Water, Montezuma Creek, Navajo Mountain and Teec Nos Pos faced heavy snow and requested snowplows to clear the roadways.

The Navajo Division of Transportation implemented their snow removal plan and is working with state and county resources to provide snowplow services on essential roads and school bus routes.

The winter storm will last from Friday through Thursday next week.

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff has alerted travelers that a hazardous weather outlook is in effect for the next week. One to three inches of snow is expected in the lower elevations, with anywhere from one to three feet of snow expected in higher elevations.

The NWS also expects periods of heavy rain during the storm and potential flooding in the lower elevations. The greatest amounts of precipitation will be around the central and eastern Mogollon Rim and White Mountain areas.

If it is absolutely necessary to travel, please ensure you have tire chains or cables, water, blankets and road flares, if available. Make sure you have enough time to reach your destination and tell family where you are traveling to and your expected time of arrival.

The Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management and Department of Emergency Management will be on standby during the storm, along with the road crews of NDOT.

President Shelly reminds all tribal members that NDOT snowplows focus on school bus routes and roads with high average daily traffic numbers. Snow removal for private and residential roads is the responsibility of the homeowners.

For snow emergencies, please contact NNDEM at 928-871-6892/6893.



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