New Mexico village ravaged by wildfire gets another pounding by floodwaters

A southern New Mexico mountain village that was recently ravaged by wildfire is getting another pounding, this time by floodwaters

ByThe Associated Press
July 9, 2024, 6:31 PM

RUIDOSO, N.M. -- Roads throughout a mountain village in southern New Mexico that was recently ravaged by wildfire were closed Tuesday as authorities tried to keep vehicles out of the path of rushing water.

Officials in Ruidoso reported that several bridge crossings were closed as mud and debris-laden water could be seen rushing down creeks and across streets.

“Please get to higher ground NOW!” the village announced on social media as the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency.

A mobile home park was evacuated, and village officials reported multiple natural gas leaks caused by the floodwaters.

Residents posted videos of the roiling water, saying they were unable to get home because of the flooding. Police cars blocked traffic, and concrete barriers were in place along some roads as the strong current carried debris downstream.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque reported that there had been multiple water rescues and that the storms had produced up to 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters) of rain. They warned that more rainfall was expected Wednesday.

Forecasters also issued flood watches and warnings for other areas, including in northern New Mexico where many residents have yet to recover from the aftermath of a 2022 blaze that was sparked by a pair of government-planned fires that went awry.

The weather service said some of the storms were capable of bringing as much as 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain as well as hail and wind gusts of 60 mph (96 kph).