School canceled for Tuesday in Grants, Bluewater

Posted at: 09/16/2013 10:29 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Flooding concerns have forced two Cibola County communities to cancel school on Tuesday.

Authorities in Grants and Bluewater don't want kids walking around in floodwaters that could be contaminated with raw sewage.

All schools in Grants and Bluewater will be closed Tuesday, according the Cibola County Sheriff's Office and the Emergency Management Office.

The Rio San Jose made an unexpected appearance at the Riverwalk Park in Grants on Monday.

"It's crazy," said Kenneth Baca. "I haven't seen this much water in all the time I've lived here."

Flooding crept up sidewalks, covered several steps of the city's Amphitheater and it's possibly damaging the Riverwalk Bridge.

"We're just afraid that it starts chiseling under this bridge and we haven't inspected it but you can see these cracks on top. It could be movement from the water. That's why it's blocked off," said Walter Jaramillo, city council member and county commissioner.

Jaramillo said what's even more concerning is the floodwaters seeping into the sewer system.

"This is a critical corner because it's the lowest part and if it's going to come out of the banks it's going to happen right here and then it's going to go to the county. It's going to go to the HeadStart
and then into the high school," he said.

Nearby Milan was also affected by flooding. Residents along Ralph Card Road say a ditch nearby broke and sent a whole lot of water rushing in.

"The ditch has not been cleaned and it broke and on the backside they never cleaned it. They never took care of it like they should have," said David Willcox.

It's not quite clear who exactly owns and is supposed to maintain the ditches in the area. The Cibola County Sheriff's Office said the ditch was simply overwhelmed with flooding.

The floodwaters will eventually flow into the Rio Puerco.

Jaramillo says there haven't been any bridges washed out in Grants, but Cibola County has had bridges washed out. Each bridge costs a million dollars, said Jaramillo.