Melting snowpack, series of storms lead to early flooding at popular park

New Mexico

The historic snowpack in northern New Mexico is barely starting to melt, but it’s already causing serious flooding near the metro, leading to a months-long closure of popular bosque trails.

“We just hope it doesn’t break over the levy,” said Jason Duran with the Los Lunas Open Space Unit.

Duran says Riverside Park just south of Main Street has never flooded this severely, this early.

“We’ve flooded like this but never this early,” said Duran.

He says the combination of a melting snowpack and a series of heavy storms is more than the Rio Grande can handle in this area. 

“With the additional snow we knew there was going to be a lot more water coming,” said Duran.

The Open Space Unit was forced to close all of the trails bordering Riverside Park because this week’s storms buried them under several feet of water. Although, the bordering park is still open.

“They won’t be able to enjoy the trails but at least they can enjoy the park,” said Duran.

Duran says there is a lot of overgrowth and build up surrounding the river, essentially trapping water in this area and causing flooding.

“We’re going to try to work with the MRGCD and the feds to clear that out,” said Duran.

In the meantime, the Unit will be working to keep people out of the closed area that can be filled with unpredictable waters. 

“We know that people get amazed by it and want to see it, and when that happens bad things occur from,” said Duran.

They’re also working on a plan to combat what is sure to be a large number of mosquitoes flocking to the standing water. They estimate they’ll be able to reopen the trails in mid-June, but it is dependant on the rain.

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