WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Residents across the Navajo Nation were without power Wednesday after a storm that packed powerful wind moved across the region.
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority spokeswoman Deenise Becenti said the outage affected at least 10,000 homes.
Wind knocked over power lines in Shiprock in the New Mexico portion of the reservation. A piece of metal flew off a building and hit a power line in Kayenta on the Arizona side, she said. Navajo communities near Winslow also were affected, she said.
“They were really strong winds that started early evening, and it just seemed to get stronger,” Becenti said.
Crews were dispatched, but there was no estimate on when power would be restored, she said.
Arizona Public Service Co. said about 2,000 customers on the Hopi reservation and more than 1,000 south of Payson also were without service Wednesday.
Winds peaked at 77 mph (124 kph) in Lupton and 64 mph (103 kph) at the Window Rock airport, both on the Navajo Nation, according to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.
Crashes and slide-offs on Interstate 40 from Flagstaff to near the New Mexico state line led to some road and lane closures Wednesday. Heavy rain came before the snow, leaving roads slick overnight and into Wednesday morning.
Employees with the Navajo Nation’s legislative and executive branches and students at Diné College and Navajo Technical University had a two-hour delay because of bad weather.
The power outage came as the tribal utility hosted a crew from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power that was on the reservation to do training in a rural area and help connect homes to the electric grid, Becenti said.