Earth Watch Report - Flooding
An aerial view of a farm house surrounded by flood waters along the South Platte River near Greenley, Colorado September 14, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/John Wark
|Flash Flood||USA||State of New Mexico, [Counties of Eddy, Sierra and San Miguel]|
|New Mexico flooding prompted Gov. Susana Martinez to declare an emergency, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate to emergency shelters. Due to the heavy New Mexico flooding, Gov. Susana Martinez declared emergency, leading to evacuations by air and ground in Eddy County in southeastern New Mexico, Sierra County in the southwest part of the state as well as in San Miguel County in the northeast. Reports said that Martinez’s declaration provided sufficient fund for state emergency officials in assisting local authorities and in directing the National Guard to respond on risky situations as needed. Meanwhile, a state police diver and local firefighters helped several people who were trapped by the rising Pecos River about 10 miles west of Roswell. Officials said the diver had to repeatedly cross 30 feet of chest-deep rushing water as he carried members of the trapped group including children and elderly people to safety. The evacuees were reportedly rushed to an American Red Cross shelter. Public Information Officer of the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Esteban Lujan said that fifty people were moved to a Red Cross center at the high school in Las Vegas in northeast New Mexico. Lujan added that in Truth or Consequences, some bridges and roads were washed out and about 20 people have been evacuated as of late. Truth or Consequences officials said people around Las Animas and Palomas Creeks were asked to immediately leave their homes and head to the city’s convention center. SFGate reported that though the number of residents affected has not been identified, authorities are now more concerned with the drought-stricken city after Rio Grande surged its banks. The National Weather Service announced that the threat of the New Mexico flooding will continue through the weekend.|
|Flash Flood||USA||State of New Mexico, Las Vegas|
|Live in Las Vegas, New Mexico, hit hard with a drought, and the torrent just causes trouble. So much trouble, in fact, that Matthew Serna might have to leave his home, because just down the block there’s one big concern. The water may come over the bridge. Just up the road, the channel to Storrie Lake was bridged. A critical component, mayor Alfonso Ortiz said, that could have held some of the water back, not to mention divert it to a lake that deperatley needs it. “It’s spreading out to properties, private properties, but eventually going back to the river — back to the Gallinas River,” Ortiz said. It’s also in backyards. “This morning, it was up to that first tree line. Then about 10:00, it was up to our driveway right here,” Anthony Marquez said. Marquez already watched some of his neighbors leave. Now, he’s thinking about it too. “We’re already packed, we’re ready to leave, but we’re just waiting,” Marquez said. The fact is, there’s too much water for a city like this to handle. Too much, all at once. Until the rain lets up, until crews can replace what’s lost, some homes will remain off limits. And some lives will just not be the same.|
Fifth fatality feared in Colorado floods as towns evacuated
(Reuters) – Colorado farming communities along the South Platte River were ordered to evacuate ahead of a predicted surge in the flooding, which may have claimed a fifth life and has left many still unaccounted for, authorities said on Saturday.
Four deaths have already been confirmed and, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said in a Tweet, “a 60-year-old woman from Cedar Grove … is missing and presumed dead.”
About 200 people in eastern Colorado were unaccounted for, although authorities said some of those residents might be stranded or cut off from communication in the region’s worst flooding in decades.
More heavy rain was expected as search-and-rescue teams used boats and helicopters to pull stranded residents to safety as flash flood waters toppled buildings, washed out roads and bridges and inundated farmland.
“Given the destruction, there is a high probability” of more fatalities, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said at a media briefing.
Two small farming communities in eastern Colorado were under evacuation orders as a surge from the flooding was headed in their direction on the plains, the Colorado Office of Emergency Management said on Twitter.