LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency Friday as the city of Las Vegas has about 50 days of clean water left before they run out.
The Gallinas River watershed is the main source of water for the city of Las Vegas. But because of recent flooding in the burn scar areas, it is now too polluted to drink from. ”Anything that burned along the watershed that goes all the way up the Gallinas Canyon, all the way down into Las Vegas is completely contaminated with ash and different debris,” said Mayor Louie Trujillo
The city’s infrastructure cannot handle the amount of debris that needs to be cleaned out. The governor has declared a state of emergency, making more than $2 million in funding available to help Las Vegas establish and operate a temporary pre-treatment system that will allow the city to safely treat and draw water from Storrie Lake for municipal use. “This is a temporary fix for the filtration system for Storrie Lake, we’re looking at a more permanent filtration system that the city will need to install to augment ours, said Mayor Trujillo.
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From wildfires to flooding to issues with the water system the city of Las Vegas has been hit hard. “We’re missing out a lot on the fact that our landscape has changed so greatly that it is there’s a huge impact on tourism right now. And in camping and, and eco-tourism and people looking for stuff to do outdoors,” said Mayor Trujillo.
The mayor says they will continue to navigate through this and stay strong as a community. “You know just to thank the people of Las Vegas for being so patient and understanding and they’ve been through so much you know, in these last several years,” said Mayor Trujillo.
The city of Las Vegas is working on a comprehensive water plan that would look at long-term solutions. The plan will be done by August 31st.
The Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire was caused by a burn conducted by the U.S. Forest Service. Las Vegas mayor Louie Trujillo says his city will continue to hold the federal government accountable for the pain they’ve caused the community.