Leaders celebrate Westwater electrification, eyeing bright future.

Sep 17, 2022, 11:00 AM
Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson spoke Friday at a celebration in Blanding of the electrification of ...
Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson spoke Friday at a celebration in Blanding of the electrification of Westwater. Photo credit: Office of Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.

BLANDING, Utah — There’s no telling what can be accomplished when two communities come together for a common good. In southeastern Utah, that is what has happened as Blanding and Westwater celebrated the transformation of Westwater electrification.

On Friday night, leaders from around the state spoke at Utah State University-Blanding to celebrate the accomplishment.

“Community is everything in Utah, and this is a monumental moment for two communities that acted together to achieve something that always felt out of reach,” said. Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson in a news release. “If we can do this, together we can do anything.”

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, on Sept. 1, flipped a switch, and electricity went into area homes for the first time.

The Navajo Nation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Utah Legislature provided funding for the Westwater electrification project.

“We are all on the same team and wear the same jersey as part of the brotherhood of man,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The Westwater project is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when we work together to equally bless the lives of our fellowman. Our goal should always be to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage everyone around us.”

Thomas Chee, Westwater community president, is happy with what has taken place.

“The old way of life wasn’t easy, especially in wintertime,” Chee said. “We’ve been waiting a long while for utilities, but now we’re making good use of our time. We’re more efficient. I’m grateful for all of the people who came together and stood with Westwater, especially the leaders who acknowledged us. We have to keep progressing with this unity to help other communities in need.” 

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Leaders celebrate Westwater electrification, eyeing bright future.