SANTA ROSA, N.M. (KRQE) - The devastating floods roiling New Mexico damaged homes and washed out road, but they're also bringing desperately needed water to drought-starved lakes and irrigators.
Two of the lakes seeing the biggest inflows and record rises sit along the Pecos River fed by smaller rivers like the Gallinas, which gushed through Las Vegas late last week.
It made its way down to Santa Rosa Lake where aerial video from Sky News 13 shows a vast expanse of lake that barely a week ago was beach and scrub.
"I believe this is probably the first time we've seen this fast of rise in lake levels in Santa Rosa," said Dennis Garcia of the army corps of engineers. "We've had a 38 foot rise in elevation."
Santa Rosa Lake's water level has jumped the most since last week's rain storms began.
That's seven times more water than it had just a week ago...
Just south of there Lake Sumner now has almost nine times as much water. Meanwhile on the Rio Grande north of Albuquerque Sky News 13 found swollen Cochiti Lake showing its 18-foot rise.
The water level is so high there campgrounds are flooded, and debris washed down from fire zones in the Jemez Mountains is causing problems.
"We had some debris flow into the lake so decided to close the boat ramps in interest of public safety," Garcia said.
Still, while all these water levels sound impressive, the reality is that Cochiti is only at 6 percent total capacity.
And, even at Santa Rosa Lake, which got the most water, there's still plenty of room for more.
"We've got at least 40 more feet we can go before we get to our flood space," Garcia added.
Eventually all that water will head downstream to be used:
"Water being stored at Santa Rosa is irrigation water, and we'll hold that water until it's called for by downstream irrigation districts," Garcia said.
Much of the water flowing into Santa Rosa Lake was supposed to stay at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas. But because of a breach in a diversion canal the water instead flowed right through Las Vegas.
Three Albuquerque veterans remember vividly the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II 72 years ago Saturday.
After getting out of federal prison early this week it looks like former state Sen. Manny Aragón isn't at a halfway house after all. He's back at his own house in the South Valley.
The owner and an employee of a local smoke shop are in federal custody accused of selling spice at the Rio Rancho store.
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired his weapon at van filled with kids during a traffic stop gone bad has been fired.
The civil case filed against former cop Levi Chavez in the gunshot death of his wife is coming to an end without a trial.
Could there be a serial dog snatcher in Roswell?