Heavy rainfall causes road damage, concerns across Navajo Nation

Repairs continue along Navajo Route 91 after monsoon rains July 25. (Photos/Office of the Navajo President)

Repairs continue along Navajo Route 91 after monsoon rains July 25. (Photos/Office of the Navajo President)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Division of Transportation (NDOT) work crews are on the ground in various communities on the Navajo Nation, working to repair and restore roads that have been damaged from heavy rainfall.

As of July 25, NDOT crews have repaired washed out dirt roads within the communities of Tohatchi, Navajo Mountain, Oljato, Pine Springs, Torreon and Burnt Corn. Work continues on roads in several other communities.

Throughout the weekend, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer also met with the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management, Division Directors and representatives from several counties to receive updates and to ensure that road repairs continue.


A before and after of a washed out road in Oljato, New Mexico. (Photos/Office of the Navajo President)

They also mobilized Community Health Representatives to check on elders and disabled residents and coordinate other resources such as sandbags, bottled water and other essential items and supplies for residents.

“We are very thankful for the much-needed moisture that we’ve received recently. It is a blessing for our land, crops, livestock and animals, and all five-fingered beings. With that, comes certain challenges and our team has been on the ground working to repair roads as quickly as possible,” Nez said.

Nez stated that on July 26, his office would provide an opportunity for all 110 chapters to hear from our team, county officials and emergency response personnel.

NDOT was unable to complete repairs in one remote area of Wide Ruins because of heavy mud that made the area inaccessible. Crews will return this week to proceed with road repairs.

NDOT Executive Director Garret Silversmith is also working with county officials to coordinate more road repairs and to gather and distribute sandbags for certain areas that are in need.

“The personnel on the ground are responding as quickly as they can. Once they complete repairs to one road, they are off to the next,” Lizer said. “So, we ask for everyone’s patience and understanding while road crews continue the work. Our prayers for moisture were heard and we are thankful, but we all have to work together now to support one another.”

Officials are also assessing several dams, including the Winslow Levee, that are being monitored due to excessive amounts of water pressure. Officials are also cautioning the public of weather forecasts that indicate more rainfall in the next few days and high temperatures later in the week for many parts of the Navajo Nation and surrounding communities.

Information provided by the Office of the Navajo President

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