State Agencies Urge New Mexicans to Use Caution During Heavy Rain Event

State Response Coordinated Through the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center

SANTA FE – Today, The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the New Mexico State Police and the New Mexico Department of Transportation is asking all New Mexicans to use caution during this week’s heavy rains that have caused flooding and evacuations across the state. Agencies are actively working through the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts.

“The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management stands ready to help all communities across the state to respond to and recover from the effects of this widespread weather event,” said Secretary Greg Myers. “We are asking New Mexicans to please pay attention to your local weather forecast and be aware of warnings in your area.”

The state EOC was activated to Level 3 monitoring status yesterday to ensure assistance is available to affected counties and communities.

The ongoing heavy rainfall is affecting many roads around the state. The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s crews are fully deployed and will operate throughout the weekend and will continue until all roads are cleared and safe for the traveling public.

“Safety is our number one concern. I want to assure the public that our crews are out in full force to keep the roads safe. Please observe message boards and detoursigns and drive carefully,” said NMDOT Cabinet Secretary Tom Church.The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s road conditions website, nmroads.com, as well as the NMDOT’s 511 road condition hotline are updated around the clock with information about road conditions and closures. Please utilize these resources to keep up to date on current road conditions and avoid hazardous areas.

New Mexico State Police will be increasing its man power and patrols to the areas of the state that have been hardest hit.Whether it is securing a perimeter around a flood zone, checking roadway conditions, welfare checks on residents, or sending alerts via Nixle; State Police will be active and vigilant. “The safety of our citizens is of paramount importance. The public can be rest assured that the State Police will work diligently and actively with all government entitiesinvolved,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas.

The American Red Cross is currently assessing the situation and coordinating with communities throughout the state. Shelters have been set up in the following locations affected by evacuations:

Carlsbad
Leyva Middle School
800 W. Church Street
 
Truth or Consequences
Truth or Consequences Civc Center
400 W. Fourth Street
 
Española
Day Shelter/Evacuation Center
Santa Claran Hotel and Casino
460 N. Riverside Drive
 
Las Vegas
Robertson High School
1236 5th Street

Donations to Local Disaster Relief may be made on line at redcross.org/newmexico or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or The New Mexico American Red Cross at 505-265- 8514. during business hours.

Residents are strongly encouraged to use caution while traveling on roads. If there is water flow over the roadway, do not attempt to cross. If you encounter downed power lines, do not approach and notify your local utility provider. Due to a rise in water volume in the Rio Grande, residents are strongly advised to stay out of areas near the river from Albuquerque to Belen for the next 24 hours.