Raging flash flood leaves roads impassable for Sheep Springs residents

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SHEEP SPRINGS, N.M. – On Wednesday, the Sheep Springs community on the Navajo Nation was cleaning up after floodwaters moved cars and fences.

It even washed away the roads, making traveling on them nearly impossible.  Residents like Adrienne Joe were able to take a look at the damage. 

“It looks like a beach in front of our house,” said Adrienne. 

Her daughter, Ariel Joe, was visiting her mom’s house, and she says it started out as a regular Tuesday. 

“The sun was shining everything was fine, a perfectly good day, and then the wind had started, the clouds came, the wind started we saw dust and heard some thunder,” said Ariel.

Then around 5 p.m., Ariel recalled seeing torrential downpours that soon lead to a life-threatening flash flood. 

“It’s shocking and scary at the same time, I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions at that time I was just seeing everything floating by and being gone,” said Ariel.  

Aerial said the house was surrounded by floodwaters, making it impossible to leave, that’s when she filmed the natural disaster and posted it on TikTok. 

“It was emotional as my husband drove me back on the tractor, you know I am sitting on the tractor and looking around like ‘wow,’ and when we saw the vehicles that were washed away on its side and washed away at least half a mile down, you know? Those were like my son’s first truck, you know?” said Aerial. 

The Joe Family was not alone.

Brian Yazzie, Sheep Springs Chapter President, says 11 residents were impacted by the flood, but they are lucky that everyone is accounted for. 

“Everybody was okay, so right now we have our community health representative out there delivering water or snacks or whatever they might need,” said Yazzie.  

He says they will begin to assess the damage once the road conditions improve, which could be Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.