FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation. This announcement triggers the release of funds to repair the tribe’s broken water lines.
Colder-than-usual temperatures caused many pipes to freeze in January. Emergency officials estimate about 18,000 people experienced shortages for several days. Local and state agencies delivered water in tanker trucks all across the sprawling reservation, while 26 crews worked day and night to restore water to people’s homes.
In a letter to Obama, Navajo President Ben Shelly said the tribe had spent more than $5 million to repair the damaged water lines.
In January, Obama signed legislation that allows tribes to appeal directly to the president for disaster declarations.
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