WILLIAMS, Ariz. — On the afternoon of Monday, October 3, 2022, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) as well as the County Emergency Management Department (CCEM) began to receive reports of indications that a possible tornado had touched down in the Junipine Estates neighborhood ten miles north of Williams, Ariz. Later in the afternoon the weather event was confirmed by the National Weather Service in Flagstaff as an EF-1 Tornado, with sustained winds between 86 – 110 m.p.h.
Sheriff’s deputies and personnel with High Country Fire & Rescue were first on the scene, establishing an emergency command post at the intersection of Buckridge Drive and Coyote Lane in the neighborhood. CCSO Search and Rescue performed a thorough on the ground search of all damaged properties in the area, searching any location for possible casualties. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported or discovered thus far.
“I spoke to a couple who were inside their mobile home when it was displaced by the intense winds from the tornado,” reported CCEM Director Wes Dison, “They estimated their home was lifted about 15 feet into the air and carried about 30 feet from its foundation.”
The American Red Cross along with Williams Unified School District also acted quickly to establish a temporary shelter at the district’s administration offices in Williams. Although no one has requested assistance from the shelter, Red Cross staff will remain ready to assist should any affected resident inquire. Case management services are being offered by Coconino County Health & Human Services on behalf of United Way of Northern Arizona and Red Cross to assist with immediate and more long-term needs.
Damage assessments via drone flyovers are continuing today, most of the damage is attributed to large trees broken and/or uprooted by the winds, roofs ripped off homes, large recreational vehicles overturned or displaced, and outbuildings destroyed.
“I want to thank our first responders as well as the National Weather Service and APS for their prompt responses to this unexpected weather event,” added District 3 Supervisor Matt Ryan, who toured the neighborhood early Tuesday morning, “The next steps will be to clear the debris and evaluate the damage to private property. It takes time to work through these kinds of events and it is important for our community to know that support is available to them.”
Coconino County’s Public Works department is currently evaluating placement of dumpsters in the neighborhood to assist with debris collection and removal. APS reports that service has been restored to the neighborhood as of Monday night and there are no reports of gas leaks in the area.
Updated information will be provided on the County website at coconino.az.gov and on County social media as it is available.