Navajo Nation Declares Emergency Following U.S. 89 Closure

Published October 4, 2018

WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation has declared a state of emergency for the Western Agency and surrounding areas after heavy rain severed a section of U.S. 89 near Cameron.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety confirmed that a two-car accident late Wednesday evening resulted in one fatality. The accident occurred after a section of the highway washed out at milepost 471.3, near Five-Mile Wash (roughly midway between Flagstaff and Page).

The flooding, caused by the remnants of Hurricane Rosa, cut through a 30-foot section of U.S. 89 and the earth beneath it. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), with assistance from the Navajo Division of Transportation (NDOT), will make short-term repairs to reopen the highway and return later to make permanent repairs.

The highway will be closed in both directions for several days while crews assess the damage and make repairs. U.S. 89 northbound is closed at milepost 467 (north of Cameron) while the southbound lanes are closed at milepost 481 (junction of U.S. 160).

Traffic between Flagstaff and Tuba City is being rerouted via I-40, State Route 87, State Route 264 and U.S. 160. The detour adds about 125 miles to the trip.

Drivers are advised to stay on paved roads, watch for signage directing them to approved detours, and plan for extra travel time. They are also encouraged to avoid tribal roads through the area, many of which are unpaved and may have been damaged by the storm.

“The Navajo Division of Transportation appreciates the quick response by the Arizona Department of Transportation regarding the road damage on Highway 89,” Division Direction Garret Silversmith said. “Historically, NDOT and ADOT have always had a strong and collaborative relationship on transportation concerns and issues throughout the Navajo Nation and the great state of Arizona. Thus, NDOT has offered and is providing assistance to ADOT with the corrective repair efforts on the Hwy 89 road damage.”

For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855-712-8530. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit www.az511.gov,follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511.

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