ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - We're getting a better idea of how wet New Mexico has become after a week of powerful storms, but the bad part of it all is that virtually every part of the state has a big cleanup and repair bill.
While Socorro County saw flooded homes, Catron County saw roads vanish. Rivers of mud washed through Rio Arriba County and all of that damage is just a slice of what's happened to New Mexico this September.
“It's so widespread I think it's going to take a little bit of time to get a full understanding of what happened,” said Estevan Lujan, spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Lujan says a whopping 25 of the state's 33 counties have reported storm damage to Homeland Security. The only eight that haven’t reported any damage so far include Lea, Roosevelt, Quay, Curry, Harding, Union, Hidalgo and Luna Counties.
So, how much will the damage cost New Mexico? Homeland Security says that's hard to tell right now.
“From a formal declaration standpoint, we haven't heard from all [the counties] yet,” said Lujan.
Only nine New Mexican counties so far have made official “disaster declarations” so far and Homeland Security says there's still a lot of damage left to look at.
“There is so much ground to cover across the state right now and FEMA teams are everywhere and we have not received any preliminary numbers yet,” said Lujan.
New Mexico is also waiting on President Barack Obama.
“Once we get the approval from President Obama from this federal declaration, that's when we can start looking at what kind of federal funding or federal help we'll get to cope with this disaster,” said Lujan.
Homeland Security says there is a good chance federal help is coming.
“Based on what I've seen, it's a good bet that FEMA will come and help us out, but by the end of the day, it comes down to the numbers that they get and the assessments they make out in the field,” said Lujan.
While the state waits, one thing that's already changed is the drought map. At the height of summer's scorching heating, virtually the entire state was either experiencing exceptional or extreme drought conditions. Now in September, only a small portion of the state is considered to be in extreme drought conditions, and none of it is in exceptional drought conditions.
Homeland Security estimates that it might be another month before flood damage projections come in for the entire state, which are expected to be at least in the several million dollar range.
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