The cytotoxicity of UV light-induced DNA lesions results from their interference with transcription and replication. DNA lesions arrest elongating RNA polymerases, an event that triggers transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair. Since arrested RNA polymerases reduce the accessibility of repair factors to DNA lesions, they might be displaced. The fate of arrested RNA polymerases-II at DNA lesions has been extensively studied, yielding partially contradictory results. Considerably less is known about RNA polymerases-I that transcribe nucleosomes-depleted rRNA genes at very high rate. To investigate the fate of arrested RNA polymerases-I at DNA lesions, chromatin-immunoprecipitation, electron microscopy, transcription run-on, psoralen-cross-linking and chromatin-endogenous cleavage were employed. We found that RNA polymerases-I density increased at the 5'-end of the gene, likely due to continued transcription initiation followed by elongation and pausing/release at the first DNA lesion. Most RNA polymerases-I dissociated downstream of the first DNA lesion, concomitant with chromatin closing that resulted from deposition of nucleosomes. Although nucleosomes were deposited, the high mobility group-box Hmo1 (component of actively transcribed rRNA genes) remained associated. After repair of DNA lesions, Hmo1 containing chromatin might help to restore transcription elongation and reopening of rRNA genes chromatin.