Flooding Inundates New Mexico Campgrounds
About 300 people were evacuated from homes and campgrounds in Ruidoso, N.M., after flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Dolly.
Meteorologists said more than six inches of rain fell in the mountainous area, and flash-flood watches were in effect for central and eastern New Mexico, according to the Associated Press.
The village of Ruidoso, located 100 miles north of El Paso, Texas, is nearly under water and travel in the village is becoming impossible as floods wipe out roads and bridges, according to KFOX-TV, El Paso.
The village manager, Dan Higgins said crews went out at midnight to tend to flooding calls. Since then there have been about 25 river rescues.
Two people were unaccounted for early Sunday morning.
A park flooded in one area of town, but a trailer home a mile up the river tore through a trailer home park, denying access to residents that live there.
Higgins said he is expecting more rain and his crews are preparing for the river to rise again.
We’ve just had massive flooding. We had 21 bridges to start with. We have probably seven left, said Higgins.
Higgins said at a campground on the Mescalero reservation, a helicopter listfed about 30 campers to safety.
Meanwhile, KVIA-TV, El Paso, reported that floodwaters forced campers in the Ruidoso Cabins campground west of the village to seek safety at higher ground.
Mary Davila, a camper, told the TV station by phone that all families in the campground were told to climb uphill as the creek began to overflow. She said the creek’s muddied waters are rushing down the campsite and have already destroyed one recreational vehicle.
Making matters worse, the creek has washed away all roads leading in and out of the campground. Even if the rain stops, their vehicles are stuck in the muddied land, she said.
“We have to keep going up the mountain. We’re afraid the water is going to reach where we’re at and we’ll have nowhere else to stay,” she added.
Davila said two teenagers tried crossing the creek to get out of the campground and they were both swept away by the force of the water. She said one of the teenagers, a girl, was rescued downstream by a group of campers. The other, a boy, was rescued by her family.
“We threw him cord and pulled him out,” she said