NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has requested that President Joe Biden declare a major disaster in New Mexico after Doña Ana County received heavy rainfall and flash flooding in August. The flooding occurred from August 12, 2021, through August 16, 2021.
In a letter to the president, Gov. Lujan Grisham requests several types of federal aid. The major disaster declaration, if approved, would provide federal resources to individuals and households that are eligible through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance program.
The declaration would also provide federal funding to local, county, state governments, and eligible nonprofits through the Public Assistance program. Gov. Lujan Grisham’s letter also requests Hazard Mitigation resources be made available for all 33 New Mexico counties.
According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, before the state could submit a formal request, FEMA required that Doña Ana County officials and DHSEM have multiple inspections and assessments to document the extent of the storms’ damage.
DHSEM reports that the governor first ordered an initial state emergency declaration for Doña Ana County on August 15, 2021, to direct a statewide response to the disaster and make $750,000 in state emergency funds available for recovery efforts. The governor signed a second executive order on September 24, 2021, to make another $750,000 available to the county.
The department indicates that the state constitution doesn’t allow these state emergency funds be directly distributed to private individuals which would make federal assistance even more critical for families affected by the disaster.