56 Navajo families now have power, thanks to Light Up Navajo project
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Fifty-six Navajo families have finally received electricity in their homes in Arizona’s Navajo Nation after work began in early April. Salt River Project, whose headquarters are in Tempe, is just one of 14 volunteer utilities from 10 states that are part of the ‘Light Up Navajo’ electrification project led by the American Public Power Association and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.
“The first home we connected was the most touching for me. It was a mom who was living in a trailer with her children, and they had no power or running water. They had gotten sick with COVID-19 and had to quarantine at home. They were excited (to get power) and telling us how tough it had been the last few months,” described Art Peralta, an SRP construction crew foreman from Mesa.
During the project, line crews created about 12 miles of distribution lines, set 193 poles, strung 13 miles of overhead wire, and donated 4,500 hours of their time. Wayne Wisdom, senior director of Distribution Grid Services at SRP, said that there are still 14,000 more homes left to go.
“There was a mother, daughter, and her two kids in Tuba City, and they were really excited to have power. The kids were excited to be able to entertain themselves without having to turn on a generator and to watch TV,” said Austin D’addabo, an SRP trades helper.
The project will complete during the third week of June and hopes to bring 200 Native families electricity in their homes. To learn more or donate to the project, click here.
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