Officials worry more could be trapped after flooding

New Mexico flooding
Officials worry more could be trapped after flooding hits Eddy County.

EDDY COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico National Guard rescued more people Saturday from dangerous flooding in southern New Mexico. The heavy rain and flooding is all due to Tropical Storm Odile.

While the storm is over, what is left behind has officials worried more New Mexicans are still trapped in Eddy County.

The heavy rain has led to devastation across the county. Intense flooding has ripped out roads and turned calm rivers into raging waterways.

“The Delaware is usually about a foot wide and a foot deep and it was 60-feet wide and 45-feet deep,” said resident Woods Houghton.

The raging waters have stranded more than 100 people.

Saturday, the National Guard rescued a group of oilfield workers trapped near their rig after rain washed out the only road leading them to dry land.

Two other oilfield crews, of about 40 people each, had to be rescued via helicopter Friday.

Late Friday night, one man died after flood waters got so intense they swept him away.

“It is very saddening to see that a natural disaster takes the life of an individual,” said Gov. Susana Martinez.

Martinez visited the flood-ravaged area Friday.

In just the last two days, Carlsbad has gotten nearly 6 inches of rain. They only average about 12 inches per year.

The rain has also led to evacuations including people at an RV camp.

Three helicopters are in Eddy County searching for people who might be stranded.

Residents say they’ve never seen so much water.

“Every little place where this is a basin or a place to collect water is full of water,” said Houghton.

While people say they’re thankful for the much needed rain. They’re ready for a break.

“Believe it or not, this is probably the first time in my life I’m not hoping for rain,” said Houghton.

The Red Cross has offered up hotel rooms for evacuees.

There are still more than 20 roads closed off in Eddy County.

The governor has freed up $750,000 for flood clean up.

Eddy County officials say they don’t know how much damage the flooding has caused.

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