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Navaho Nation endures water crisis

Arizona governor declares state of emergency, releases $200,00 in aid

PHOENIX | February 7, 2013

"In all my years I've never seen anything like this"

—Erny Zah

Water pipes damaged by cold weather have caused water shortages affecting several northeastern Arizona counties. The situation has provoked emergency orders by Arizona's Governor and the Navajo Nation's president.

Gov. Jan Brewer has issued a declaration of emergency, and a release of $200,000 in state aid.

Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly estimated the cost to repair its water pipeline system at $2.8 million, KNXV-TV, Phoenix, reports.

The freeze has damaged a water system of concrete and clay that dates back to the 1950s. Crews from the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, the Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority and the Salt River project have been inspecting residential water outages, but have 730 more to inspect , the Daily Times said.

The Farmington (N.M.) Daily Times reports about 2,000 families are currently without running water. "In all my years I've never seen anything like this “ said Erny Zah, spokesman for the Navajo Nation's president and vice president.

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