Incident Update 9-19-13 1000 Hours
Alan Beaty – Incident Commander
Lorenzo Espinoza DHSEM Liaison
Bucky Allred - County Commissioner District #3
Cathlyn Snyder – County Manager
Doug Boykin – Public Information
Continuing work in response to flooding brought on by a week of intense rains, officials are cleaning up and re-establishing basic services to residents along several drainages in and around the communities of Glenwood (Whitewater Creek), Mogollon ( Silver Creek) and Alma (Mineral Creek). While most of the county received over 8 inches of rain in the last 7 days, the area around Glenwood was the most affected by the devastating floods, where waters breached levees, flooded homes and businesses and destroyed a portion of NM 159 into the mountain community of Mogollon.
Crews have completed the re-establishment of the main road up Mineral Creek where multiple homes are located. All residents are able to get out of the upper part of the canyon. Work is progressing to pioneer a new road in other areas where Mineral Creek jumped its banks so that food and water can be taken to those residents if they are in need. After that, as resources permit, work will be started to restore the road and rebuild the levees to the original condition, which may take several weeks.
Glenwood ( Whitewater Creek)
Work continues on removing sediment from under the Whitewater Creek/US Hwy 180 bridge, using private dozers and NM DOT equipment. There is still less than 3 feet of freeboard under the bridge and it is critical that the channel gets cleaned out in the event of additional rain fall in upper Whitewater Creek, which was devastated by the 2012 Whitewater Baldy Fire. There are 3 homes along Circle Drive that are still threatened by bank erosion and Catron County moved dozers in there Wednesday to build a berm that will push the main channel of Whitewater Creek back to the south, away from the homes. There are two local motels that received heavy flood damage impacted by the flood waters, along with several outbuildings. The NM Game and Fish Hatchery is threatened and the Game and Fish Department is mobilizing equipment to build up the dike separating Whitewater Creek from the hatchery. FEMA representatives visited on Wednesday to start damage assessments.
Mogollon (Silver Creek)
A primitive 4-wheel drive track has been completed where NM Hwy 159 used to be from Deadwood Canyon to Mogollon. Heavy equipment from NM DOT will work to improve this road as needed. Work was slow because 10-15 foot drop offs from the old road are common and boulders the size of small vehicles have been washed into the drainages. Only emergency vehicles and local residents are allowed. Search and Rescue operations are still ongoing for one person missing from Mogollon. His vehicle was located today but there was no sign of the individual. Search and rescue operations will continue today.
As stated before, due to the unprecedented damage to NM 159, it may be several months before it is open for public travel. All other major roads in the Glenwood area are open.
Representatives of NM Dept. of Homeland Security, Catron County, NM State Forestry, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, NM State Police, NM DOT and the US Forest Service have set up an Incident Command Post at the Blue Front Café in Glenwood. The Type 3 Incident Management Team from the City of Santa Fe that had been ordered to assist Catron County with recovery and re-construction has been cancelled. Heavy equipment from Catron County and NM DOT are either on scene or en-route to start clearing roads, bridges, repairing dikes, etc. The Red Cross closed the shelter at the Glenwood Elementary School this morning.