ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – On April 20, the City of Española declared a state of emergency as Santa Cruz Lake started overflowing. It comes due to a strong monsoon season and snowmelt.
Española City Manager Jordan Yutzy said a local trailer park has started flooding. Combined with soft soil and running water, the city worries about the homeowners living there and fears nearby neighborhoods could also be hit.
They said the situation is difficult because the land the Rio Santa Cruz River runs through isn’t owned by the city.
“The river is actually owned between Pueblo property and private property, but the flooding is affecting our residents, and if the snowmelt gets worse down the river, then you could see a lot more water coming that way which is going to affect a lot more homes,” said Yutzy.
The city started holding back the water by creating runoffs and using sandbags, but it’s not enough.
Española Emergency Manager Jeff Sargent mentioned the area normally doesn’t worry about flooding until monsoon season. The city hopes the state will come to the rescue as they continue to keep an eye on flood waters.
“That’s the purpose of emergency management, and you have the Army Corps of engineers, and they have the equipment to be able to help us get what we need to help mitigate it,” said Sargent.
According to the city manager, by declaring the situation a disaster, the next step will be for the county to declare a disaster to help get assistance. Due to warm weather coming up this week, the city expects things to get worse.