Rio Chama overflows, flooding homes in Hernandez

Posted at: 09/18/2013 5:48 PM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 10:17 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Just when New Mexicans thought the state was drying up, there's more devastation.

The Rio Chama overflowed, flooding homes in the small community of Hernandez, north of Española.

Approximately a dozen homes were affected by the flooding.

Heavy rains caused the Rio Chama to rise to historic levels. At its height, homes were submerged in five feet of water. Front yards now look like lakes.

Esteban Gallegos is just one of a handful of homeowners dealing with a massive cleanup.

Friends and family are helping, taking out furniture, drying floors and walls and mopping out of a flood never seen in this area before. But cleaning up a mess like this will take more help.

"If anybody wants to donate, not just to myself and my other neighbors got flooded out too. Volunteer if you want to come out and help," Gallegos said.

Emergency crews from all around northern New Mexico are helping Hernandez residents out of the mess. The real work begins Thursday when daylight will show the real extent of the damage.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter for people affected by the flooding in Rio Arriba County. It's at Beatrice Martinez Senior Center on Vietnam Veterans Memorial Parkway in Española.