New Mexico Requests Major Disaster Declaration for Summer Floods

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham, have asked for prompt action to help New Mexico recover from severe storm damage caused during July and August 2014.

The delegation sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to take prompt action on the State of New Mexico’s recent request for a major disaster declaration to assist with flood and storm damage.

Between July 27 and August 5, parts of New Mexico including Bernalillo, Guadalupe, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and San Miguel counties, and the Pueblos of Acoma and Santo Domingo experienced severe storms and flooding that damaged roads, bridges, a dam structure, and other infrastructure. The state has requested the federal government approve a major disaster declaration request and provide the correlated public assistance to help with recovery efforts and repairs, which would include funding for debris removal; emergency protective measures; and repairs to damaged roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and parks and recreation facilities.

According to Governor Susana Martinez’s letter requesting the major disaster declaration, dated September 29, 2014, damages resulting from these storms have currently been assessed at $3.93 million. The greatest overall damage occurred at the Acoma Pueblo, where access to the backcountry was cut off for residents and users.

“In light of the ongoing losses and possible long-term impacts from flooding during the time period of July 27 through August 5, 2014, we request your expedited attention to Governor Martinez’s request for a major disaster designation and the correlated public assistance,” the lawmakers wrote. “We remain committed to providing the necessary assistance to you and the governor in expediting New Mexico’s recovery efforts and ensuring an effective response from this extreme weather event.”

Extreme weather conditions last month also caused significant damage in Southeastern New Mexico as well. The lawmakers will continue to support recovery efforts for areas of the state impacted by more recent storms and flooding, upon submission of disaster declaration requests.

The full text of the letter is available here (PDF).