Doña Ana County Commissioners Court votes to request state of emergency after severe flooding in La Union

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LA UNION, New Mexico (KTSM) – Multiple streets in the town of La Union still show signs of the severe flooding that submerged various vehicles during Thursday night’s storm.

Heavy rainfall throughout the region caused severe flooding in Southern New Mexico and in El Paso as a storm rolled into the area.

In response, the Doña Ana County Commissioners Court called a special meeting on Friday where they approved a resolution calling on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to declare a state of emergency.

Skyler Gray who lives on Palomas Street in La Union evacuated his home on Friday night when police came to his door but came back on Friday to find his vehicles submerged in mud.

“I’m worried about it raining again today and the cars either getting completely buried or swept down,” said Gray.

Frustrated to hear that a dam in the area overflowed and another had a runoff valve that carried water to the neighborhood.

“How can you have a malfunction on a dam that’s supposed to be keeping people safe,” said Gray.

Another resident Jose Anaya describes what it was like when he saw water headed towards his home.

“I started seeing all this water coming into my property. The pressure was hard, it was just coming in big, you could see waves,” said Jose Anaya.

Dona Ana County Sheriff, Kim Stewart explaining that the water came down from two dams in the area but says they did not break.

“These earth and dams were not breached, there was no breakage in the dam. What had occurred in La Union A is there was a planned runoff to avoid the berm from being surpassed and that planned runoff went down to Palomas street, unfortunately,” said Dona Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart.

Explaining that the dam that did overflow on Thursday is full.

Flooding damage on Palomas Street

“It was overrun last night with that storm it is near the top right now but the flood commissioner has no concern that there is an immediate threat on either one of those. The problem is on La Union A it has been leaching water out all night long,” said Stewart.

The National Weather Service El Paso says they have aerial footage from the La Union Area of the dams and say a Northern dam and Southern dam appear to have structural weakening due to erosion.

“The concern is not only additional water overflowing if it rains today but also that they could potentially give way because they’ve been compromised,” said Jason Laney with the National Weather Service,” said Jason Laney with the National Weather Services El Paso.

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