New Mexico

Doña Ana County communities overwhelmed with flooding

Dona Ana County communities...

DOÑA ANA COUNTY - Doña Ana County officials activated the Emergency Operations Center early Monday morning as crews attempted to combat major flooding in several parts of the county, according to a release.

Throughout Hatch, mobile homes were trapped behind a wall of water, parks were flooded, and pumps steadily whirred in the afternoon heat.

Storm-related activity created a sinkhole in Chaparral, forcing officials to divert traffic, officials said.

Because of the flooding, close to 40 people have been evacuated from their homes in Hatch, the release said. Those in need of shelter can stay at the Hatch Community Resource Center.

 

“The rain’s really set in over Hatch overnight," said Jess Williams, a spokesman for Doña Ana County.

The flooding brought back painful memories of the Hatch floods of 2006, which happened when a canal broke.

"It's a very hard memory to get rid of, especially when you have a disaster," said James Gutierrez, a Red Cross Volunteer. "So we actually do have mental health workers that are available to our clients."

Hatch Mayor Andy Nunez also remembered the event, but told ABC-7 that Monday morning's floods were much different.

"What happened then was that the canal broke and they had a big gush of water," Nunez said. "That's why it flooded everything. This here's just been some real heavy rains."

The county's road department crews are also removing "flood-related debris" in Picacho Hills, Fairacres, Brazito and Chaparral, according to officials. Other flooded areas include Spaceport Road and other parts of west Mesa. There was also significant debris in the small community of Organ, west of San Augustin peak. 

Shortly before 4 a.m., Zia Gas Crews emergency gas leak near Highway 185 and El Colorado Road, the release said. Several roads were flooded in Salem, New Mexico, just north of Hatch. 

Officials with the American Red Cross join the county's Office of Emergency management, Fire and Emergency Services Departments and the Public Information and Information Technology departments to staff the Emergency Operations Center.


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