Arizona Cleanup Continues in Wake of Storm

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

PHOENIX (AP) - Residents across Arizona resumed cleanup efforts Sunday in the aftermath of a powerful storm that caused massive flooding and power outages in several areas.

Meanwhile, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has ordered the Nevada National Guard to help flooded communities in northern Arizona. Arizona officials requested air support to assist after heavy flooding in the Flagstaff area from Thursday's torrent.

The Nevada Army National Guard will deploy one Chinook helicopter and two Blackhawk helicopters from a facility in Stead, Nev. The governor's office said Sunday afternoon the helicopters will head toward Flagstaff when weather in northern Nevada permits. Gibbons pledged additional help for Arizona if needed.

Four Red Cross shelters around Arizona - in Salome, San Carlos, Cibecue and Payson - were closed by Sunday night as residents displaced by the storm returned home.

Red Cross disaster-assessment teams visited affected areas Sunday and a mobile feeding unit capable of feeding 100 people was deployed to Black Canyon City.

The Arizona Division of Emergency Management activated the state incident management team operating out of Holbrook to coordinate humanitarian efforts on the Hopi and Navajo nations. Authorities say coordination is under way with the Civil Air Patrol to provide aerial assessments of snow packed and flooded areas.

Most vital highways closed by the storm have been reopened.

However, state Department of Transportation officials said State Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff remains closed to all traffic along a 12-mile stretch from Flagstaff south along the switchbacks at the top of Oak Creek Canyon due to storm damage. ADOT engineers plan to access the damage Monday and determine what's needed to make repairs. Sedona area residents can use State Route 179 to northbound Interstate 17 to travel to Flagstaff.

ADOT officials also said a 14-mile stretch of U.S. 180 northwest of Flagstaff was closed due to deep snow rockslide on Sunday and a 13-mile stretch of State Route 88 was closed between Roosevelt Dam and Apache Junction due to a rockslide. ADOT crews hope the reopen both of those highways this week.

National Weather Service meteorologists said a weaker storm system might bring more rain Wednesday to the Phoenix metropolitan area and drop several more inches of snow on Flagstaff.

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