Residents urged to prepare for winter snowstorms

January 19, 2017 - 8:18 am

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Winter Storm Warning for Northern Arizona due to incoming snowstorms impacting the region.

The NWS is predicting a series of storms starting Thursday for elevations above 5500 feet. The series could bring over two feet of snow and continue until Monday evening with the most severe parts of the storm coming Friday night through Saturday.

Coconino County Emergency Management is working with County Public Works, Law Enforcement agencies, Arizona Department of Transportation, utility companies, volunteer agencies and other community partners to ensure a coordinated response for any adverse impact the storm may have on residents.

Emergency Management is also encouraging residents to prepare for the storms system by following these steps:

Sign up for CodeRED emergency notifications at:  www.Coconino.az.gov/emergency

Prepare your home for extended “snow-ins”:  This series of storms can cause power outages and significantly hinder travel. In the event of a being stranded by a “snow-in,” it is imperative to have enough supplies at home to weather the storm. All County residents should have the following on hand: 

  • Three days of non-perishable food and water (one gallon per day per family member)
  • First aid kit and extra supply of medication
  • Personal hygiene supplies, extra clothing, footwear, gloves, blankets, sleeping bags
  • Extra food for pets and livestock
  • Flashlight, extra batteries, candles and a battery operated radio
  • Alternate heat source (kerosene, wood, etc.)
  • Full propane tank (if applicable)
  • Extra set of car keys, cash, credit cards
  • Snow shovels
  • An emergency plan for the entire family

Plan Travel Accordingly: Good winter travel planning is critical for the safety of Coconino County residents and visitors alike. Stay aware and informed about incoming and ongoing storms through a weather radio or by visiting the NWS website at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/. Use the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) www.az511.gov system for interstate travel information before you leave home. The County encourages all citizens to heed all NWS Winter Storm Watches and Warnings and to stay off the roads as much as possible during a storm.  If you must travel, then let someone know your intended route and expected time of arrival.

Generator use: If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

Secure private plowing services now: The County cannot provide snow plowing services for private roads. If you live on a private road, then consider securing a professional plowing service as soon as possible. Even if you live on a County road, a plowing service can clear windrows and driveways (services not provided by the County).

No Parking on County roads: County Ordinance 86-6 prohibits motorists from parking on county roadways between Nov. 1 and April 1 on a 24-hour basis. Residents are asked to park their vehicles five to 10 feet from the roadway to allow ample room for snowplows to pass. Remove all private objects from County right of way (i.e.: yard art, planters and trash bins).

Call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation: In the event of a snow related emergency, call 9-1-1. First responders will coordinate with Public Works if plowing to the scene of an emergency is necessary.

Additional information: For questions about snow removal operations and related road conditions, please contact the following:

  • Coconino County: For County maintained roads, please call Public Works at 928-679- 8300 during normal business hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).
  • Follow Coconino County on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CoconinoCounty and Twitter at www.twitter.com/CoconinoCounty for updates on road and weather conditions as they become available.
  • City of Flagstaff: Please call either 928-213-2175 or 928-774-1605 during normal business hours.
  • Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT): For highway road conditions, please call 5-1-1 or visit ADOT’s online Traffic Operations Center at www.az511.gov.
  • National Weather Service (NWS): For weather information about winter storms, please visit the NWS web page at www.weather.gov/flagstaff.
  • Emergencies: To report snow-related road emergencies, please call 9-1-1.

 

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