Residents south of Belen still cleaning up after floods

Emily Jaceks
October 05, 2017 06:53 PM

BELEN, N.M. -- The cleanup continues just south of Belen after floods wiped out a portion of an interstate and left many homes underwater.


It's been nearly a week later since after a residential area got hit with a downpour, and there's still little relief. More rain has added inches of water to already-covered front yards and homes between Interstate 25 and Highway 116, and families say they're running out of hope.

"The inside from all the moisture that I can't get to is peeling off the walls," said one resident said, Josh Gibbs. "The drywall's falling down; the wood floors are starting to buckle up. The insulation in the attic has black mold."

For days, they've been digging themselves out of the mess, using shovels, tractors and sandbags -- anything they can to remove the mud and water. It's helping, but the road to recovery is a long one. The Red Cross is doing what they can do.

"Going house to house seeing what the damage is, if there's flooding on the road, how severe is it," said Joshua Skeen of the Red Cross said. "And we usually go by the same standards as FEMA, so we'll mark affected, major, destroyed."

Until insurance money and other aid comes in, families say they're making due.

"We're staying now across town at a ranch house and we're doing what we can now for the beautiful lady that has taken us in," Gibbs said.

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District confirmed the Belen high-line canal did break in five spots. They are unsure though if their insurance policy will help those affected by this flood.


Emily Jaceks

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