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KNAU and Arizona News

Morning Rundown and Flood Updates: Monday, July 26

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It’s Monday, July 26. Severe flooding swept through parts of Navajo County over the weekend, prompting evacuation orders for residents southwest of Taylor near the Silver Creek Basin. The order remained effective as of this morning. A county-issued “ready” status for potential evacuation remains active for Indian Route 71, Ames and Bushman Acres, Little Singer School and Birdsprings near the Winslow Levee.

Sandbag distribution is set to take place at the Winslow Visitor Center on 2nd St. Street and the Winslow Fire Department on Taylor Ave. A shelter is operating at the Holbrook High School, along with a livestock shelter at the Navajo County Fairgrounds. 

 

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Credit Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
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Cottonwood Police released a photograph of 16-year-old Faith Moore Sunday, July 25.

Police Release Identity Of Missing Girl Carried Away In Flood 

The search continues for a teenage girl carried away by floodwaters this weekend, according to Cottonwood Police and the Verde Valley Fire District. Fire district officials say the girl, 16-year-old Faith Moore, was swept downstream as personnel assisted a stranded vehicle. An initial search began between the Camino Real and State Route 260. At the time of the incident, Moore was wearing blue shorts with a light blue shirt and white tennis shoes, according to the VVFD. Police earlier this morning asked volunteers to gather in organizing search parties. 

 

Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials say a helicopter, K-9 units and watercraft have been deployed, though the office acknowledged difficulties in search efforts due to heavy precipitation. 

 

Hopi Tribe Declares Emergency Over Floodwaters 

Meanwhile, Hopi tribal officials issued an emergency declaration amid flooding on the reservation. The declaration allows the tribe to request support from state and federal agencies. Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva told partner station KUYI the flooding may have damaged three separate dams. The National Weather service is forecasting a 27% chance of precipitation today in Keams Canyon, along with a 28% chance in Kykotsmovi. 

 

Flagstaff Sees Rise In COVID Cases

Coconino County reported 121 new COVID-19 cases over a seven-day period in an assessment released Friday. It marks a rise from previous weeks. Flagstaff experienced the largest increase in cases over the past week compared to any other community within the county. The city displayed a 186% rise in infections, according to the report.

 

The county also estimates 89% of variants documented have been confirmed within the City of Flagstaff. 

 

Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections among vaccinated individuals — also remain a local concern, with a total of 124 confirmed in Coconino County. Coconino county remains in a moderate level of community transmission, while Apache, Navajo, Gila, Mohave, and Yavapai counties are exhibiting high transmission levels, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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Credit Angela Gervasi
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Running water near Buffalo Park on Sunday, July 25.

Flagstaff Downtown, University, Museum Fire Areas See Flooding 

Strong monsoon activity led to further flooding this weekend in Flagstaff. Water levels rose not only near the Museum Fire Burn Scar, but in areas downtown and near Northern Arizona University. Temporary road closures went into effect near NAU Saturday night at several intersections, including San Francisco St. and E. McConnell Drive. Flash Flood Warnings have been cleared across northern Arizona, according to this morning’s forecast from the National Weather Service, though a 55% chance of rain is on tap today in Flagstaff.

 

Sewage Spill Contaminates Oak Creek, City Says Flooding A Factor 

Sedona officials say high levels of E. coli are present in Oak Creek after an estimated 1,500 gallons of sewage water spilled into a nearby wash. City officials say heavy rain caused the sewage spill, which was stopped after about 30 minutes, according to a report released Sunday. 

 

The report shows E. coli levels were above state and federal thresholds for safe swimming, with particularly high levels in Windmill Park at 12,976 Colony Forming Units per 100 mL - compared to state and federal limits of 235 CFUs per 100 mL. Updated test results are slated to be released today. 

 

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