ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - City and county emergency services are bracing for a flood wave they say could push the Rio Grande's flow from 5 to 15 feet above normal.
At a news conference late Friday officials announced the closure of the river bosque and other measure being put in place.
The National Weather Service earlier issued a flood warning for the surge of storm runoff spilling into the river and expected to reach the city overnight Friday into Saturday and extending through Saturday afternoon.
The flood warning covers Bernalillo and Valencia counties where existing levees are expected to offer protection. Lowlying farmlands beyond the levees and dikes may see some flooding, the weather service said.
The weather service also warned people to stay away from the river until the danger passes.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation estimates the peak flow could be 100 times what it was in the river a week ago.
Officials of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District said they expect the river to overflow its banks into the bosque but stay within the levees.
Farm lands unprotected by dikes and levees likely will be flooded, the weather service said.
The city announced these precautionary measures"
- All Bosque trails will be closed and monitored
- The Police Department is launching Air One to monitor the Rio Grande and levee water levels
- Community Centers are on standby to act as shelters, if evacuation is necessary
- AFD’s Swift Water Rescue team has been activated
- The Department of Municipal Development along with the Army Corps of Engineers have identified a region near Montano and Rio Grande, one mile south and one mile north, as a vulnerable area and will be monitoring the region throughout the evening and early morning hours
- The Red Cross is also on standby.
All flooding-related calls should go to 242-COPS, unless it is an emergency. Then community members are asked to call 911.
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