Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
CROWNPOINT, NEW MEXICO Caught in the undertow of two days of flash flooding, Navajo Technical University's Crownpoint campus took a hit as several of its buildings were damaged forcing the university's President Dr. Elmer J. Guy to cancel classes on Monday.
The first flood hit the campus shortly after 1:00 pm on Friday afternoon, in which several cars became engulfed with water requiring the assistance of the Crownpoint Fire Department and the Navajo Nation police. It is also around this time that NavajoTech's admissions building, several administration offices, nursing and modular classrooms, and six family housing units became over flooded with water running from the southwest end of campus.
The torrential rains ran throughout Crownpoint and did not cease until thirty minutes after the initial flooding began. As the flooding calmed, Navajo Technical University called for an evacuation of its campus when it was predicted that another storm was expected to follow.
While most of the campus did evacuate, several students and NavajoTech staff members remained on campus to tend to the over flooded buildings and assist the family residential unit residents in need.
Students and staff bagged sand to prevent further damage to the family housing units and barricaded other campus facilities that might be susceptible to damage if more rain were to come. The NavajoTech staff circled the campus in trucks and vans providing aid to students in need, while also utilizing tractors and bulldozers in blocking areas of rapid flooding.
The quick response Friday by the students and staff ended up to be crucial after the campus was flooded again on Saturday night. Damage was limited because of the sand bag barricades, but all of NavajoTech's family housing unit residents were asked to take refuge in the university's Hospitality Building which was designated as a community shelter for those in need.
No one was hurt during the two days of flooding, but several families have been relocated out of their damaged homes.
Campus officials are currently conducting an initial assessment of the two days of flooding and are working closely with Navajo Nation FEMA in providing disaster management. Although classes are canceled Monday, the NavajoTech faculty and staff will be reporting to assist in flood clean up.
For anyone willing to assist in the cleanup of NavajoTech's flood, please contact Byron Charlee at 505.879.5730.
posted September 16, 2013 6:40 am edt