SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – After days of heavy flooding throughout Jemez Springs, cooler temperatures are giving residents a break. Rushing water has finally slowed down, but pools of water can still be seen throughout the community.
“Well, it was like having a river in front of your house for a while. We’re happy that it’s down because it was scary to come in and out of the driveway,” said Jean Ramsey, a San Ysidro resident.
Jean Ramsey’s home, on Thursday, had water surrounding it after a healthy snowpack had melted. After a few days, a lot of the water disappeared, giving her and her neighbors some peace of mind.
Officials said the Bureau of Reclamation has fixed a breached levy that was contributing to the rising waters. They also said that cooler temperatures have slowed down the runoff from the melting snowpacks.
“Going forward, we’re hoping that these more moderate temperatures will help keep the rate of rise in the river to a minimum and kind of help stabilize,” said Sandoval County Manager Wayne Johnson.
The Sandoval County Manager said the water treatment plant is still not functional after the heavy floods caused a spill into the river. They said the Environmental Protection Agency collected water samples Friday and expect results within the next 24 hours.
“Stay out of the water. Don’t get too close to the river. Some of the banks are undermined, and you may get to a point where it just collapses on you,” warned Johnson.
Contractors are currently assessing the repairs needed for the water treatment plant. Right now, there are 30 trucks working 24-7 to manually pump out the waste but say it does not impact drinking water.
David Goswick said his home was on a higher elevation and lucky didn’t get flooded. However, he’s worried what will happen if temperatures rise again.
“I mean, it kind of worries us, I guess, for our neighbor’s sake. Like I said, it hasn’t really come to our house. It hasn’t really flooded the church, but I know a lot of the other residents they’re pretty worried,” said David Goswick, a San Ysidro resident.
Residents at the Village of Jemez Springs can continue to use their bathroom facilities but are encouraged to conserve water in order to reduce waste going to the treatment plant. Officials said if any residents need sandbags, they can be found at the fire stations at San Ysidro, Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, and La Cueva.