Regional
1:21 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

New Mexico Storm Damage Estimates Could Take Weeks

Mogollon, NM storm damage
Mogollon, NM storm damage

Officials say it could be a while before the exact amount of damage from recent heavy rain and flooding in New Mexico will be known.

Counties are submitting preliminary flood damage estimates to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as federal officials work to tally their own assessment — a process that may take weeks.

New Mexico Homeland Security spokesman Estevan Lujan says bridges, roads and other infrastructure have sustained "extensive damage."

In Los Alamos County, officials put the initial flood damage cost at more than $5 million.

Meanwhile, state officials are watching rivers and creeks amid isolated thunderstorms that could spark even more flooding.

The Chama River's bank swelled Wednesday sending floodwaters in Rio Arriba County, just north of Espanola. The flooding forced residents of Chili, N.M., to use canoes and rafts to retrieve their possessions.

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