Wet weather wreaks havoc on Rez bus routes

Muddy dirt roads keep bus drivers on their toes, buses continue to get stuck in the mud

A school bus on Route 16, gets stuck on Inscription House Road on the way to Tuba City. Wet weather has made it difficult for bus drivers to complete their routes to reservation schools without incident. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

A school bus on Route 16, gets stuck on Inscription House Road on the way to Tuba City. Wet weather has made it difficult for bus drivers to complete their routes to reservation schools without incident. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

TUBA CITY, Ariz. -Recent rain and foggy weather conditions have caused mud and water run off to make the treacherous dirt road conditions even more dangerous for Tuba City District bus drivers who must navigate the unpaved reservation roads to get students to and from school.

Last week, roads in the Dinnebito-Hardrock area were especially dangerous along with roads around Inscription House and the Red Lake areas.

The Shonto Preparatory School bus got stuck one morning on Route 16 and needed help from the Tuba City Unified School District to get its bus out of the mud.

Road conditions on both Navajo and Hopi reservations become extremely tricky and dangerous in the wintertime causing expensive repair work on personal and school vehicles. The vehicles travel over deeply mud-rutted and pot-holed roads, which have been damaged by snow and rain, ruining and damaging wheel alignment and tires.

For the Tuba City District bus drivers, safety of student riders is the hightest priority, getting them to their school sites and then home again.

This past week alone, the Rocky Ridge school bus got stuck just 25 feet away from Highway 264.

Two additional buses got stuck on Route 6011, just northeast of the Veterans Memorial Park road in Red Lake.

Bus 145 got stuck on route 16-Inscription House road.

Care and precaution from experienced Tuba City District bus drivers is key during the winter months for students to get safely to their school sites.

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