New Mexico governor declares state of emergency due to floods

Sept. 15, 2013 at 5:14 PM
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TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency, freeing up $750,000 to rebuild infrastructure in the western portion of the state after flooding.

Three days of heavy rains washed out roads, swamped farms and fields, and damaged houses in Sierra, Bernalillo and Cibola counties, KOAT-TV, Albuquerque reported Saturday.

Martinez toured the flood-damaged regions Saturday from a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter and spoke to residents in Truth or Consequences, N.M., the Albuquerque Journal reported.

She declared the state of emergency Friday.

"We will be able to release as much money as is necessary to rebuild infrastructure," she said, adding that she hoped the federal government would declare a national emergency to free up more funds.

"Until the rain subsides, just stay out of the mountains. Stay on high ground," she added. "Just because you have sunny skies, blue skies, doesn't mean whatever has fallen up north can't impact you here."

In Rio Rancho, N.M., flood waters washed away roads and formed ditches in the middle of peoples' yards. Officials said they'd have crews out all weekend to make roads passable, KOAT reported.

"It was breathtaking. It's very hard to even imagine the chaos that's caused from this," said Alyssa Barrett of Rio Rancho.

In Bluewater Village, N.M., residents reported knee- and thigh-deep water in their homes.

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