Cleanup begins after Algodones flooding


ALGODONES, N.M. (KRQE) – Residents in Algodones are spending most of the Thursday cleaning up after heavy rains flooded homes and farmlands causing a muddy mess.

“The rain came and it wasn’t even that long of a rain storm,” Sharon Lavery said. “And within five minutes I looked out and my place was flooded.”

The rain started coming down around 4 p.m. Wednesday moving fast from Santa Fe down I-25 and into Algodones.

An inch of rain was dumped in less than an hour. Water was flowing into the irrigation ditch bringing dirt and tons of debris. By 5 p.m. the banks had overflowed. Minutes after the flooding began.

Sky News 13 captured video of about 20 homes surrounded by water. The Rio Grande Conservancy District said three of the homes were flooded.

“Irrigation ditches are designed to put water into fields,” Tom Thorpe with the Rio Grande Conservancy District said. “We put water into them to convey the water and control the water that goes into them. They’re not arroyos; they’re not drains. So when there’s large amounts of water they can’t hold it.”

At least one property owner was seen working alongside the fire department, shoveling mud as they started pumping out water.

There haven’t been any evacuations.

Farmers rely on that irrigation ditch. But Thursday crews are working to uncover parts of the ditch that had completely been filled with mud.

The conservancy district estimates it will take about a week to clear it all out, with damages excess of $25,000.

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