NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico has entered monsoon season and while it is a welcome sight in areas where wildfires are burning, it is also causing a lot of worry about flooding.

The rain has been falling in San Miguel and Mora counties. FEMA says they’re monitoring storms closely and are prepared to evacuate families if they need to. “If we get those kind of big rain events that we sometimes get, it’s going to be pretty devastating to certain parts of the community,” said Greg Elbring

Monsoon rains are expected throughout the weekend putting many families on edge. “There’s a lot of tension right now. Because everybody knows it’s coming and they’re trying to do what they can but there’s only so much you can do,” said Elbring

The Calf Canyon Hermits Peak Fire is the largest in state history burning more than 340,000 acres.

The intense flames have destroyed any grasses that would have slowed the water flowing and made a “sealant” on the ground. Now when storms move in the rain is going to rush down mountainsides.

“We’re talking about ash and debris and logs and branches and silt coming down relatively quickly,” said Representative Roger Montoya.


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Communities have been working with the state to protect people’s homes, land, and water wells. Sand is being provided by NM DOT and community members like Greg and Tobias Lavato are working with the National Guard to fill sandbags and pass them out to homeowners.

Community leaders say that they are grateful for the support from the state, but the clock is ticking. “We are thankful for the governmental interventions, which are needed, and they’re working as quickly as possible? They definitely are not fast enough,” said Representative Montoya

The people of northern New Mexico told KRQE News 13 that they are holding strong as a familia and will weather this storm together.

“All of these folks helping each other, which is incredible. I mean, this is part of the charm of this community for sure,” said Tobias Lavato.

The governor announced Friday that the National Weather Service will be issuing flash flood warnings as quickly as possible and doing everything they can to alert residents of impending floods. Crews have also been creating water bars to funnel water away from the burn scar.

The state is also providing Mora County with collapsible flood barriers which are filled with dirt and rocks.