NM state police assisting with evacuations at Carlsbad Caverns, rainfall causes flooding in city


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – New Mexico State Police say they are assisting park service personnel at Carlsbad Caverns with evacuations as flooding continues to pose challenges on roads.

Heavy rains in the area have state authorities taking precautions as flooding has impacted surrounding areas and within the city of Carlsbad.

New Mexico State Police have closed Road 7, which leads to the caverns, a spokesman says. And, visitors at the caverns are being evacuated.

Photo by Joe Rodriguez

Joe Rodriguez, a KTSM 9 News viewer, says park officials told visitors to wait out leaving the park, earlier today.

Rodriguez noted that levels of water had washed out nearby roads keeping over 100 visitors at the park. They’d been stuck at the visitor center since 1:30 p.m., he added.

Visitors were stuck around 1:30 p.m. because the road has washed out with 11 inches of water. Though things seemed grim, Rodriguez says many still had high spirits.

”It’s a festive atmosphere and they’re all cooperative,” he said.

More rainfall is expected to reach the area as a storm is headed towards Carlsbad.

The Carlsbad Current Argus newspaper reports major roadways have been blocked off and police and emergency responders are patrolling the banks of the Pecos River due to heavy rainfall from the past two days. On Tuesday, a neighborhood was evacuated as rising water due to the rainfall.

State representatives Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad and Jim Townsend of Artesia released a statement urging constituents to take notice of road closure and evacuations in Carlsbad and Eddy County.

“Please follow instructions from officials and do not put yourself or others in dangerous situations during the storm,” the statement read. “We will continue to follow updates on the storm, flooding and any closures and evacuations.”

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