AUSTIN (KXAN) – Families in the Navajo Nation were able to turn on the lights in their homes for the first time after crews from Austin Energy travelled to Leupp, Arizona to install nearly 100 power poles and more than eight miles of overhead wires.

According to Tuesday’s announcement from Austin Energy, 11 crew members and 10 trucks traveled 4,152 round-trip miles and worked for two weeks alongside Navajo tribal utilities and other public power providers from across the country.

The crews left Austin on April 22 to work on the Light Up Navajo Project.

According to Austin Energy, this is what crews accomplished:

  • Holes Dug – 124
  • Pole Installs – 96
  • Transformer Installs – 12
  • Meter Installs- 12
  • Overhead Wire Installed (feet) – 2,216
  • Total Miles Traveled – 4,152

“Witnessing the pride and gratitude of the Navajo Nation for the work we did is something I’ll never forget,” said Norris Eason, an Austin Energy distribution electrician supervisor. “Bringing power to those that have never had it makes you realize how fortunate we are and how important it is to help where we can. I’m so proud that Austin Energy joined with other public power providers to invest in this effort and am thankful to be part of a community that values serving others.”

Austin Energy said the project is important because Navajo families otherwise have issues accessing running water, reliable lighting, home heating, home cooling and appliance connections, according to the release.

Last year, Austin Energy sent eight crew members to Arizona to work on the project.