The National Weather Service tweeted early Friday that bridges have washed out in Sierra County and evacuations were taking place around Truth or Consequences. There are reports three-plus inches of rain in that area.
Residents are evacuating as heavy rain has caused rivers to overflow in two New Mexico cities and prompted a flash flood watch across much of the state.
In southern New Mexico, Truth or Consequences officials say people around the Las Animas and Palomas creeks have been told to leave their homes. It was not immediately clear how many residents were affected, but authorities are concerned because the Rio Grande has surged its banks.
In northern New Mexico, the Las Vegas Optic reports major flooding has forced the evacuation of homes, schools and businesses near the overflowing Gallinas River. And Los Alamos police say there has been canyon flooding along with sporadic residential floods.
The problems stem from the same storm system that has battered Colorado, causing at least three deaths.
Due to severe weather events across New Mexico, volunteers and staff of the American Red Cross in New Mexico are responding to flooding and evacuation issues in multiple New Mexico counties at this time. Please see below for a county by county breakdown as of Friday morning:
Dona Ana County
-Vado, NM- 5 people are in the Red Cross shelter at the Community Center. The shelter was opened Wednesday night due to flooding.
- Carlsbad, NM: The Red Cross is operating a shelter at the Leyva Middle School in Carlsbad NM due to flooding and evacuations. 80 evacuees have registered with the shelter. There were 23 people in the shelter overnight, and all those registered will come back to the shelter today for food and information. The Red Cross is working with Eddy County Animal Control to house pets of the evacuees. We have partnered with the Southern Baptist Convention, our partners in disaster relief, for meals while the shelter is open. The shelter will remain open through the weekend.
-Sierra County has opened a shelter at the TorC Civic Center and The Red Cross is providing support for the evacuees.
San Juan County
-The Red Cross is providing assistance for multiple families whose homes were damaged due to rain and flooding last night and are now without water and propane.
Donations to Local Disaster Relief may be made on line at redcross.org/newmexico or by calling 1-800REDCROSS or The American Red Cross at 505 265 8514 during business hours.
Doña Ana County Emergency Operation Center officials say that many La Union residents are without services. A community meeting is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. Read news release from Doña Ana County Emergency Operation Center officials below:
An earthen dam just outside the community of La Union has breached, and the La Union Fire District Station remains inaccessible to heavy equipment due to flooding and ruts. A contingent of county staff will attend a community meeting at the La Union Catholic Church at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, to listen to community concerns, evaluate the situation on the ground and determine the next necessary steps. Sand bags are still being delivered to and distributed from the La Union Fire District Station, but motorists entering the station are advised to exercise caution.
All heavy equipment from the fire station has been relocated to La Union Elementary School, where the community's emergency-response activities are being staged. Field personnel on site are in touch with the Doña Ana County Emergency Operation Center, which has been activated for county-wide emergency coordination and resource allocations.
The Doña Ana County Flood Commission and the county Roads Department are working together to address the situation. Evacuations have been recommended for residents in the 15000 block of Las Alturas Drive near Las Cruces, as well as portions of Alvarez Road in and near La Union. Water, gas and wastewater service to about 300 residences in La Union is down.
At least two roads in the community are completely washed out, and there is no vehicular access to several homes. Some utilities are exposed, and extreme caution is advised in the affected areas. The New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Doña Ana County Roads Department are blocking off selected roads throughout Doña Ana County. Motorists are strongly advised to heed all posted road closures.
The Del Cerro Community Center has been activated as a shelter for families dislocated due to rain and flooding. The Doña Ana County chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting with shelter activities and is accepting donations of cash, which can be made by visiting the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org. Go to the tab titled "Donate Funds," then select "Your Local Red Cross Chapter." The billing form will use your ZIP Code to determine the chapter that will benefit from your donation. You may also call 1-800-733-2767 to donate, but please specify that donations are to be directed to Doña Ana County.
The Red Cross also is accepting donations of bottled water, non-perishable food, cots, chairs, blankets and clothes, which can be dropped off in Las Cruces at Fire Station No. 1 at 201 E. Picacho Ave.
Reports are coming in at this hour from Chaparral, Vado and La Union, where homes and neighborhoods are sustaining flood damage. The Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department will have staff in the field throughout the weekend to assist at community centers that need to be opened.
The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners is expected to meet in emergency session at 9 a.m. Monday in the Commission Chambers of the Doña Ana County Government Center. The purpose of the meeting will be to issue a declaration of disaster and subsequently seek state and federal assistance.
Residents who need to report emergencies are advised to call 911, so that the proper resources can be prioritized and allocated.