NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed executive orders Friday, declaring a state of emergency in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The orders were signed due to the area’s drinking water being threatened by flash flooding at the Hermits Peak, Calf Canyon burn scar.
The orders make $2.25 million in emergency funding available to prevent more damage, repair public infrastructure and anything that can help recovery time related to the wildfire and burn scar flooding. The emergency funds will also allow the city to set up a temporary pre-treatment system that will allow the city to treat water from Storrie Lake. Officials say the city still has about two-months supply of safe drinking water.
The burn scar from the wildfire left ash and debris along the Galinas River watershed, which is the city’s primary water source. “The contaminated water flow from the Gallinas caused by the wildfire damage to our watershed has compromised the availability of water to the Las Vegas municipal water system. Rest assured that the city will be holding the federal government responsible for our current situation,” Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo said in a release.
Officials say the city’s utility staff is closely monitoring water quality. The state and city are working together to find solution to keep drinking water safe from continued burn scar flooding.