Heavy New Mexico Rains Cause Dangerous Flooding, Significant Damage

By Carrie Jung, KUNM
September 16, 2013
Navajo Technical College
Navajo Technical College was evacuated Friday after flooding in Crownpoint, N.M.

Record-breaking rainfall has produced dangerous flooding conditions across many parts of the Southwest in the past week. In New Mexico, cleanup efforts are continuing Monday.

Officials expect the cost of damages to run more than a million dollars in that state alone.

Some areas of New Mexico saw nearly 10 inches of rain from last week’s storm system, which is more moisture than many parts of the state have seen all year.

The deluge, which began last Tuesday, caused portions of the Rio Grande and nearby creeks to overflow, leading to widespread structural damage and the evacuation of at least two towns.

Gov. Susana Martinez issued a state of emergency on Friday, opening up recovery funding for area roadways, something New Mexico State Police spokesman Emmanuel Gutierrez says will be desperately needed in the coming days.

"We’ve see a lot of roads that have been shut down because of being washed out and washed away." Gutierrez said. "Now in Socorro County, State Route 1, a large portion of it is shut down because large sections of the road have been swept away, leaving a six-foot drop."

One man was killed after his car was swept into a ravine, otherwise injury reports remain low.