Voluntary evacuations turn serious for Bluewater residents

Posted at: 09/15/2013 11:06 PM
Updated at: 09/15/2013 11:10 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

What started out as a voluntary evacuation for residents in the hard-hit village of Bluewater turned into an emergency evacuation on Sunday evening.

Authorities feared if the Crownpoint dam broke, it would eventually send water rushing to McKinley County and then Cibola County.

Non-stop rain has left 15 homes in Bluewater damaged by the flood.

Residents along Main Street built a makeshift berm early Saturday morning.

They used asphalt millings and sandbags and credit the barrier with saving three homes nearby.

Elsewhere in the Cibola County village, entire fields are now underwater.

Residents are barely able to navigate the flooded streets.

The sheriff's office says a bridge nearby got washed away, but says there has not been a levee break.

The office says the excess water is flowing down from McKinley County.

Authorities are warning resident’s well-water and sewer systems have likely been damaged.

County jail inmates and residents have spent the past couple of days filling sandbags.

An emergency shelter has been set up at the Grants First Baptist Church.

Bluewater Elementary School will be closed Monday, and will possibly remain closed Tuesday and Wednesday.