N.M. Gov. Signs Disaster Declaration for 3 Counties

March 2, 2005

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson recently signed an Executive Order declaring a disaster in Grant, Hidalgo, and Catron counties because of extensive damage caused by storms that occurred beginning on Feb. 10, 2005 and lasted approximately four days.

The severe weather and resulting flooding damaged or destroyed roads and bridges, acequias, and irrigation infrastructure throughout southwestern New Mexico. One death has been blamed on the weather- a 29-year-old Grant County man drowned after his vehicle was apparently stranded in flash flooding.

“I want southwestern New Mexico to know that I have made all of the appropriate state resources, including financial assistance, available to help communities recover from this devastating storm,” said Gov. Richardson.

Initial surveys put damage totals at more than $1 million dollars, and that number will grow as the assessments are completed. In Grant County alone, more than 600 miles of county roads need to be repaired or rebuilt, and three county bridges were destroyed and must be replaced.

The disaster declaration makes local communities eligible for reimbursement, at a 75%-25% state-local match, for expenses such as overtime for public safety personnel, repairs to roads, water lines, and sewer lines, and other public assistance needs created by the

The money comes from a $750,000 state disaster relief fund. The Executive Order signed by Gov. Richardson also authorizes Adjutant General Kenny Montoya to deploy any New Mexico National Guard resources that may be needed to support civil authorities, and directs all cabinet departments and state agencies to provide any assistance that may be required.

In addition, Gov. Richardson directed the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to work with FEMA to see if any federal assistance is available.

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