Federal, state, local aid heading to storm-ravaged parts of Arizona

Posted: Updated:

STATEWIDE -- Federal aid is on its way to storm-ravaged areas in Apache, Coconino and Navajo counties. President Barack Obama has authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate relief in the areas hit hardest by last week's winter storms, including help for the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation in Arizona's most-affected counties.

The federal aid comes after Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons ordered the Nevada National Guard to Arizona's northern communities.

The Arizona National Guard is also heading up north.

A National Guard Emergency Response Team left Papago Park Military Reservation Monday morning. They will be assessing the troops' situation and making sure equipment and supplies are ready to go.

Service members spent a good portion of their Sunday preparing ready-to-eat meals that will be distributed to members of the Hope Tribe and Navajo Nation.

Some 4 to 5 feet of snow fell in that portion of the state late last week. The snow-covered road and flooded areas are making it impossible for many people to get out of their homes to get basic necessities.

"Now that the snow is starting to melt, people are getting out of their homes, or they're having trouble getting or accessing things, so really, we're just now seeing a surge of requests," said Judy Kioski of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.

A pair of convoys will be sent to distribute the much-needed food and supplies.

Another storm is expected to roll through the state Wednesday. While this system appears to be weaker than the trio of storms that pounded Arizona back to back to back last week, people are still concerned. The National Weather Service said more rain is possible in the Valley, as well as several more inches of snow in Flagstaff.

Red Cross volunteers are also on site doing what they can to help people up north.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.