Governor Jan Brewer today issued a Declaration of Emergency in response to unusually cold temperatures that have frozen pipes and caused water shortages affecting the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation and parts of Apache, Coconino and Navajo counties.
Since mid-January, parts of northern Arizona have experienced extreme sub-freezing temperatures caused by an arctic air mass. Record or near record-low temperatures have resulted in significant damage to potable water infrastructure in the area. The magnitude of the damage has caused a shortage of drinking water that threatens public safety and the operation of basic infrastructure, including schools and businesses.
Given the scope of the damage, the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation have each declared a State of Emergency.
Governor Brewer is authorized under state statute (A.R.S. § 26-303(D)) to declare a State of Emergency and release an initial $200,000 from the General Fund. The Declaration also directs the following actions:
a. Declares that a State of Emergency exists on the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation across Apache, Coconino, and Navajo Counties due to water shortages resulting from the damaged water infrastructure effective January 12, 2013 and continuing; and
b. Directs that the sum of $200,000 from the general fund be made available to the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to be expended in accordance with A.R.S. § 35-192, A.A.C. R8-2-301 to 321, and Executive Order 79-4; and
c. Directs that the State of Arizona Emergency Response and Recovery Plan be used to direct and control state and other assets and authorize the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to coordinate state assets; and
d. Authorizes the Adjutant General to mobilize and activate the Arizona National Guard as is determined necessary to assist in the protection of life and property throughout the State.
The Arizona State Forestry (AZSF) Division also is contributing to relief efforts. This morning, AZSF sent two 3000-gallon potable water tenders to the Navajo Indian Reservation, with plans to provide further assistance.
Visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network website -- www.AzEIN.gov. -- for emergency updates, preparedness and hazard information, and multimedia resources.