Cleanup, repairs begin in southern NM

Southern NM flood cleanup
Crews are busy making repairs and cleaning up after the flooding and heavy rain in southern NM.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Eddy County is drying out after days of rain and flooding. As the water levels drop crews are scrambling to find out what they can reopen, what needs to be fixed, and what it will cost.

The rushing flood waters are slowing down. Now, recovering from the storms is what’s keeping Eddy County Emergency managers busy.

“It’s a long process, the work that has to be done on these roads, theres a lot of work,” Eddy County Emergency Service Director Joel Arnwine said.

Eddy County and Carlsbad city workers spent Tuesday surveying the damage. About 30 county roads are currently closed.

“We might be able to get maybe half of those open but it may not be completely open,” Arnwine said.

Some roads are still flooded. Others that are dry and undamaged could be open by the end of the day. Roads to the oil fields are another top priority. But for some city roads, it could be a while before they reopen.

Public Works spent the day making easy repairs. County emergency managers say some of the worst damage from the entire storm is at the Callaway and San Jose bridges in Carlsbad. The San Jose Bridge just re-opened this year because of bad damage from flooding last year.

“We had very very high hopes for this being a great fix,” Arnwine said. They don’t expect water will cause more damage now and the county should get state or federal help to pay for the repairs.

“We expect to be able to tap into state money or FEMA money to help us recover from this disaster,” said Arnwine.

The county doesn’t have an estimate on how much cleanup and repairs will cost.

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