CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) - The rain has stopped in southeastern New Mexico, but officials and residents are still dealing with the most dangerous flooding they've seen in years.
It's been nearly 24 hours since Lakewood residents were airlifted to safety from their flooded homes. For now there's still no telling when they'll get to go back.
"They were just trying to get us out by the helicopter, but now we can't go back," an evacuee who identified himself only as cowboy said. "In fact we can't even live there for awhile."
More than 70 residents from an RV park in Lakewood were evacuated and transported to an American Red Cross shelter in Carlsbad.
"We were trapped," resident Anthony Simmonds-Amari said. "The water was filling it up.
"I'm happy to be here. We will go back when we go back."
Simmonds-Amari, a resident of Lakewood for more than 20 years, says he watched as flood water swallowed his home Thursday.
The area is still off limits.
Eddy County emergency officials say it will stay that way for at least the next 24 hours until the water recedes and damages can be assessed.
"We do have everything," Simmonds-Amari said. "We have family. We have good people and as we say in Spanish we will overcome."
That was the attitude at the shelter in Carlsbad Friday as evacuees reminisced about Thursday's flooding and expressed hope conditions improve soon.
"We start over," Simmonds-Amari said. "You don't become overcome by evil. You overcome evil by good. What better place to start but here."
Public works crews and sheriff's deputies are securing the closed roads in Lakewood.
They are warning people to not drive on roadways even if they're clear of water because the roads might have hidden damages.
The Eddy County Road Department is continuing to monitor the water levels near Lakewood.
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired at a minivan full of children during a chaotic traffic stop has been suspended.
Albuquerque police have obtained an arrest warrant for the many investigators say held up a Home Depot store last month.
It's been steadily snowing in Albuquerque all morning as the majority of New Mexico feels the effects of the snow and dropping temperatures.
As the first week of December arrived, so did a storm bringing snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
Today’s top weather and news stories with Elizabeth Alvarez, Matt Mauro and meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
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