Utah, Nevada, and Arizona see rare Tornados

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Rare tornadoes strike Desert Southwest, touching down in Arizona, Nevada
  • Most of the Desert Southwest averages less than 10 inches of precipitation a year, but when it rains, it pours. Parts of Arizona, Nevada and Utah got a bit more than they bargained for Sunday when afternoon monsoonal downpours popped up, with several tornadoes touching down.
  • Tornadoes are a rarity in the southwestern United States, but multiple twisters were on the ground simultaneously for a time Sunday evening. One churned ominously close to Interstate 15 in Nevada, and another was photographed from near Lake George, Utah, as it slipped into northern Arizona.
  • At the same time, the National Weather Service in Las Vegas was maintaining a tornado warning for a separate rotating thunderstorm near Mesquite, Ariz. At one point, the Weather Service noted that the public confirmed a tornado, and it included a stretch of Interstate 15 in the warning.
  • If that winds up having been the case, then two twisters will have been on the ground simultaneously.

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Nevada and Arizona will start largest water cut of 21% less in 2023

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Arizona and Nevada hit with up to 21% water cuts that start January 2023: Drying up Colorado River is draining Lake Mead and Lake Powell that are barely above one-quarter their capacity
  • The White House announced on Tuesday water cuts for Arizona and Nevada starting January 1, 2023
  • Arizona will receive 21 percent less water, while Nevada will get eight percent less – northern Mexico is also included and will see seven percent less water
  • The water cuts are in response to the Colorado River draining Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which are the nation’s largest reservoirs
  • These reservoirs serve 40 million Americans with clean water and power

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40 fires, 6 states, 2 Million acres burning

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • More than 2 million acres burning across 6 states
  • Across the country, more than 6,700 wildland firefighters and support crews are actively working nearly 40 fires across six states, including New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, California, Kansas and Alaska.
  • The National Interagency Fire Center reported five new fires started this week, two in California and one each in Alabama, Arizona and Kansas.

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Hot and Dry conditions have several states battling fires

Revelation 8:7 “The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Wildfires Tear Across Several States, Driven By High Winds
  • Firefighters across the country are battling multiple wildfires as tinder-dry conditions and high winds whip up flames from Arizona to Florida — including a prairie fire in rural southwestern Nebraska that has killed one person, injured at least 15 firefighters and destroyed at least six homes.
  • Nebraska remains critically dry, said Ashford, who urged residents to use caution when doing anything that could spark a fire.
  • “The last thing we need is to have another fire started that we have to then fight,” he said.
  • In Arizona, firefighters also took advantage of lighter winds to boost containment of a more than 33-square-mile (85 square-kilometer) blaze that has been burning outside of Flagstaff for more than a week.
  • In northern New Mexico, evacuations remained in place.
  • The blaze has has grown into the largest wildfire burning in the U.S., charring more than 88 square miles (228 square kilometers).

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Southwest Officials warn of Explosive Fire Season as Arizona Blaze reaches 20,000 acres

Revelation 8:7 “ The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘It’s going to be a long one this year’: Southwest officials warn of explosive wildfire season as blaze in Arizona reaches 20,000 acres and forces hundreds to evacuate their homes
  • The Tunnel Fire, burning near Flagstaff in Arizona, was first reported on Sunday afternoon and by Wednesday night was burning almost 20,000 acres
  • The fire was burning nine square miles on Tuesday evening, and estimated at more than 30 square miles on Wednesday afternoon
  • The blaze is zero percent contained, and firefighters have been hampered by strong winds, which are forecast to continue on Thursday and Friday
  • Officials said Tuesday evening that 766 homes and 1,000 animals had been evacuated near Flagstaff, and about 250 structures remained threatened
  • Firefighters believe that 25 structures have been destroyed, but are unable so far to give precise totals
  • In New Mexico, the Mora County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations for more residents as a blaze burned more than 14 square miles since Sunday

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Wildfires have New Mexico and Arizona declaring Emergency as a mega drought persists

Revelation 8:7 “ The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Emergency Declaration for Multiple Wildfires in New Mexico
  • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed emergency declarations as 20 wildfires continued to burn Sunday in nearly half of the state’s drought-stricken 33 counties.
  • One wildfire in northern New Mexico that started April 6 merged with a newer fire Saturday to form the largest blaze in the state, leading to widespread evacuations in Mora and San Miguel counties. That fire was at 84 square miles (217 square kilometers) Sunday and 12% contained.
  • Meanwhile in Arizona, some residents forced to evacuate due to a wildfire near Flagstaff were allowed to return home Sunday morning.
  • In Arizona, two large wildfires continued to burn Sunday 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Prescott and 14 miles (22 kilometers) northeast of Flagstaff.
  • In Nebraska, authorities said wind-driven wildfires sweeping through parts of the state killed a retired Cambridge fire chief and injured at least 11 firefighters.
  • The cause of the wildfires in New Mexico and Arizona remain under investigation.

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Feds warn potential water shut off if water level continues to drop

Leviticus 26:18-20 “And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.

Important Takeaways:

  • Feds could limit water flow to Arizona, other western states
  • Concern focuses on continually falling water level in Lake Powell, a reservoir that supplies millions with water and hydroelectricity
  • Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science for the U.S. Department of the Interior warned, Should the water level drop below 3,490 feet that the shortage would affect both water flow downriver and power generation at the large power facility. Currently, water levels sit at 3,522 and continue to fall
  • She added that a nearby Arizona city and part of the Navajo Nation would lose drinking water should Lake Powell’s water level be allowed to fall below the threshold.

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Southwest officials warn of explosive fire season as Arizona blaze reaches 20,000 acres

Revelation 8:7 “ The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘It’s going to be a long one this year’: Southwest officials warn of explosive wildfire season as blaze in Arizona reaches 20,000 acres and forces hundreds to evacuate their homes
  • The Tunnel Fire, burning near Flagstaff in Arizona, was first reported on Sunday afternoon and by Wednesday night was burning almost 20,000 acres
  • The fire was burning nine square miles on Tuesday evening, and estimated at more than 30 square miles on Wednesday afternoon
  • The blaze is zero percent contained, and firefighters have been hampered by strong winds, which are forecast to continue on Thursday and Friday
  • Officials said Tuesday evening that 766 homes and 1,000 animals had been evacuated near Flagstaff, and about 250 structures remained threatened
  • Firefighters believe that 25 structures have been destroyed, but are unable so far to give precise totals
  • In New Mexico, the Mora County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations for more residents as a blaze burned more than 14 square miles since Sunday

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Wildfire spreads to 6,000 acres in Arizona

Revelation 8:7 “The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Arizona wildfire spreads to more than 6,000 acres, prompting evacuations
  • A fast-moving wildfire in northern Arizona has grown to more than 6,000 acres, being fueled by significant winds and dry conditions.
  • Coconino County officials said that over 200 personnel were fighting the fire, but they have not been able to achieve any containment as of Tuesday evening.
  • The so-called Tunnel Fire was burning about 14 miles north of Flagstaff. County officials said nearly 800 households and over 1,000 animals were evacuated from the area that is home to more than 2,000 people

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Analysis: Republicans see election opportunity in Biden border struggles

By Ted Hesson and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leading Republican vying to unseat an Arizona Democrat in a crucial U.S. Senate race next year gets heated when he talks about Democratic President Joe Biden’s “failed border policies,” occasionally throwing in expletives when decrying their alleged financial cost and what he says is the threat they pose to Americans.

The candidate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, is betting the message will resonate with voters Republicans need to mobilize in the 2022 elections to change the balance of power in Congress.

“Immigration in and of itself is not a bad thing,” Brnovich, himself the son of immigrants from Montenegro and Croatia, said in an interview with Reuters. “But illegal immigration undermines the rule of law.”

Echoing some of the hardline rhetoric of Republican former President Donald Trump, Brnovich supports the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico and tougher immigration enforcement.

His opponent, incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, is a well-known retired astronaut and husband to former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. His seat has been rated as vulnerable by election trackers after he won a close victory in a special election last year.

While the Arizona race is one of the most high-profile contests where immigration has emerged as an attack line for Republicans, the strategy is not limited to the Southwestern border state.

Republicans across the country are targeting the policy vulnerability for Biden, whose administration has struggled to curb record arrests of migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border. Some critics say he has failed to find a consistent approach on immigration, keeping some Trump policies in place while rolling back others, inviting attacks on both the right and left.

“We have gone heavily on offense,” said Emma Vaughn, national press secretary for the Republican National Committee, which plays a central role in shaping the party’s election strategy. “Immigration doesn’t just impact border towns; it impacts Americans everywhere.”

Reuters polling backs up the idea that immigration is a prime motivator for likely Republican voters. A Reuters opinion survey in October of nearly 1,600 Republicans found immigration topped the list of issues that would make them “very angry” if the government acted in opposition to their views.

Democrats, on the other hand, did not rank immigration in any of their top 12 anger-provoking issues. Researchers have found anger is more likely to encourage voting compared with other emotions.

Heading into the November 2022 midterm elections, Democrats currently control both chambers of Congress by a narrow margin. The Senate has 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with them to 50 Republicans, giving Vice President Kamala Harris a tie-breaking vote. In the House of Representatives, Democrats hold 221 seats to the Republicans’ 213, with one seat vacant.

As attorney general, Brnovich filed four lawsuits this year challenging Biden’s immigration actions, including a lawsuit that said Biden failed to assess the environmental effects of illegal immigration, such as pollution and stress on natural resources.

Democrat Kelly has also criticized Biden’s approach to the southern border at times, most recently sending a Dec. 16 letter to the president calling on him to close existing gaps in Arizona’s border barriers. At the same time, Kelly urged Biden to restore areas damaged by Trump-era border wall construction.

“Your administration must make it a priority to address these issues,” Kelly wrote. “Arizona deserves better from Washington on the border.”

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it would take steps to close “small gaps” remaining from previous border wall construction and perform other construction work, with a focus on a stretch of the border in Arizona.

Kelly’s tougher border stance contrasts with most of his Democratic colleagues, who disdain Trump’s immigration tactics, a reflection of the threat immigration-focused attacks on the incumbent could pose in the race.

INTERNAL TENSIONS

Biden took office in January promising to roll back almost all of Trump’s restrictive immigration measures, but he has so far been stymied by internal tensions within his administration and ongoing court battles.

Some of the friction has been evident on the president’s Domestic Policy Council. The council’s director, Susan Rice, has tended to push for tougher enforcement at the border, clashing at times with her own more liberal staffers, according to a former U.S. official with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Immigrant advocates who joined the Biden administration have been disappointed with his approach to the border, including the mass deportation of Haitians caught trying to cross from Mexico, a second official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Some Biden officials have acknowledged internally that large numbers of migrants arriving at the border could derail the president’s broader immigration agenda, Reuters reported earlier this year.

Biden has left in place a sweeping Trump-era border expulsion policy implemented when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and was ordered by a court to resurrect another hardline Trump program that forces migrants to wait in Mexico as their U.S. asylum cases proceed — both moves that dismayed advocates.

A White House spokesperson said all Biden staffers were “committed to implementing a fair and orderly immigration system,” and denied any tensions between Susan Rice and Domestic Policy Council staffers.

The spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that Republicans also focused heavily on immigration before the 2018 midterm elections, only to lose the House to the Democrats.

PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS

Republicans and their allies are already airing some immigration-themed commercials, a likely preview of what Democrats can expect in the coming year.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that favors lower levels of immigration, launched a six-figure digital ad campaign in Texas and Arizona last week that attacks Biden and other Democrats and depicts the border as lawless.

“President Biden sabotaged the nation’s immigration controls,” a man’s voice says in the ad over video of migrants clashing with authorities in Mexico. The ad will air in Spanish and English in an attempt to reach Hispanic voters.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, both Republicans facing re-election in 2022, have emerged as leading critics of Biden’s immigration policies. Abbott and DeSantis are viewed as possible Republican presidential candidates in 2024, and the White House is closely following their gubernatorial races, according to a third U.S. official.

The Biden administration is working with allies outside of government to neutralize the criticism, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal plans.

One strategy is to remind voters of Trump’s “zero tolerance” border policy, which led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents and drew international condemnation, the official said.

The White House is also banking that its efforts to speed up asylum processing at the southern border – a much-touted plan that has yet to produce significant results – will gain steam next year.

But many pro-immigrant activists remain unconvinced, including Jennifer Quigley, senior director for government affairs with the pro-immigrant organization Human Rights First.

“They do not view humane and lawful entry for asylum seekers as a winning thing politically,” Quigley said.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Jonathan Oatis)