Carlsbad, N.M. – One person is presumed dead in the city of Carlsbad as rain continues to pour in southeast New Mexico. Rain is forecasted for the next five days as flooding continues in several communities.
Witnesses saw them driving around a barricade and the vehicle being swept away in floodwaters. State Police and fire and rescue were called in to remove the body, but the car can’t be retrieved until the water starts to recede.
Chaves County Flood Commission Superintendent Dick Smith says these rains help with the drought, but that part of the state was not ready for this. “You know you get these kind of events and you’re never really prepared for them and so no matter how many preparations you do, you’re going to be, infrastructure will not be able to handle the volume of water.”
Two homes so far have suffered minor flood damage and only eight people are still evacuated of the 38 people who were told to leave for their safety. The bridge on Canyon Street and U.S. 285 in Carlsbad, is still closed from floodwaters but is expected to re-open on Thursday.
However, water may still remain and officials are urging the public to remain vigilant and be careful. “My advice would be turn around don’t drown or whatever it is you see on TV. People don’t realize how powerful this water is flowing and how much it can float a car away,” Smith said.
So far, there could be up to seven inches of rain that may have fallen in the past four days. In Roswell, the levee that broke Memorial Day has seen another breach but flooding has not reached the level of three weeks ago.
Eddy County officials say the worst damage has been to roads but they will not know the extent until flood waters go down. Carlsbad firefighters responded to several rescue calls of vehicles trapped in floodwaters.
Two people were rescued Tuesday night trapped in the water in Malaga. Eddy County officials said the water levels in the Pecos River and in Avalon Lake where it was peaking over the dam, were dropping. Carlsbad Caverns was closed Wednesday due to the flooding.