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NEWCOMB — Newcomb resident Sarah Evans beamed as she watched a pickup truck from the chapter house deliver firewood to her home on Monday.

"I appreciate it because we are out," Evans said while standing on the front porch.

The delivery, an undertaking by Newcomb Chapter, will keep warm the two-bedroom house Evans shares with several family members while they wait for the soil to dry after last week's severe storm brought snow to the region.

Alberta Evans, Sarah's daughter, said when mud forms, there is no way in or out of the residence.

Since they ran out of firewood, which is the primary source of heat for the house, they started burning old logs from a horse corral and coal to keep warm, Alberta Evans said.

The chapter started delivering firewood for its membership on Saturday and continued the effort Monday.

Chapter Manager Norman Benally said the chapter is concerned about the well-being of residents because cold temperatures remain, and muddy roads have limited travel.

"We are essential to those families, to ensure that their well-being is looked after. We try to help them as best as we can so that they can stay warm," Benally said.

The response is backed by chapter president David Randolph Sr., chapter vice president Willamena Smith and chapter secretary-treasurer Donna Benally, he added.

The deliveries are also in response to the state of emergency issued last week by the Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management, which activated available emergency resources to help tribal members.

"Thank you. Thank you," Irene Sherman said after firewood was delivered to her home.

Sherman explained in the Navajo language that the small pile of wood near her front door is not usable because it is wet from the snow.

After returning to the chapter house, the chapter's equipment operator and maintenance man, Alvin Gould, reloaded the pickup truck with more firewood.

"They need it. Everyone is hurting for wood," Gould said.

The impact and response effort to last week's winter storm continues to be monitored by the Navajo Department of Emergency Management.

Several chapters in the Northern Agency have reported minor situations, but none have made local emergency declarations, according to the department's situation report released on Sunday.

The department will provide a report about its operations to the Navajo Nation Council during a special session on Tuesday in Window Rock, Arizona.

According to the proposed agenda, there will be a report by the Office of the Auditor General about chapter emergency funds, and delegates could consider legislation related to the tribe's emergency declaration.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

 

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