Devastating floods force hundreds to evacuate in New Mexico
Saturday, September 14, 2013, 9:59 -
Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate after parts of New Mexico took a beating on Friday. Heavy rains triggered flash flooding in the vicinity of Albuquerque, forcing the state's governor to declare a state of emergency.The declaration should release nearly $750,000 to help local governments as well as clearing the New Mexico National Guard to assist.
The Rio Grande River rose nearly a meter on Friday night and could reach its flood stage some point this weekend. The river is running at a height of approximately 2.5 meters, which is just a little under the height of the dikes and levees built after the 1842 flood.
Precautionary plans are in place in Albuquerque in case the Rio Grande flood wave spreads beyond the levee.
Officials were also forced to close many roads around the city as flooded and muddy roads were responsible for severe traffic delays, even holding back several school buses on Friday.
Residents in the community of Lakewood had to be airlifted to safety. There is still no definite return date for the evacuees.
In Los Alamos, flooding and mudslides forced officials to close down several highways.
The American Red Cross has set up shelters all throughout the state to help all those affected by the devastating weather hitting the state.