FEMA inspecting NM flood damage for federal aid

Posted at: 09/19/2013 9:27 AM
Updated at: 09/19/2013 10:38 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

The only road into Mogollon, NM was destroyed by powerful floods.
The only road into Mogollon, NM was destroyed by powerful floods.
Photo: Courtesy: New Mexico State Police

After strong storms and historic flooding wreaked havoc on much of the state for two weeks, New Mexico could see financial help from the federal government soon.

New Mexico Homeland Security Department spokesman Estevan Lujan said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is now looking at damage on public land and roads across the state.

"FEMA is aware of the critical nature of this incident and expects to have it declared quickly once the letter is submitted, which is in the process of submission from the governor's office," Lujan wrote to KOB Eyewitness News 4.

To qualify for federal aid, damage totals must exceed $2.8 million. Gregory Myers of the NM Homeland Security Department said the state will easily meet that threshold, but that New Mexico isn't in the same situation as Colorado.

"The impact on citizens hasn't been what we've seen in Colorado," he said. "You have hundreds missing still there, you have hundreds in shelters. We've opened up multiple shelters over the last week and had very few visitors."

Myers said the department is not sure how many homes in New Mexico have been damaged so it's not clear if FEMA will offer individual assistance.