Hernandez residents try to salvage homes after flood

Posted at: 09/19/2013 12:53 PM
Updated at: 09/19/2013 1:03 PM
By: Erica Zucco and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Flood waters reached as high as five feet in some areas of Hernandez.
Flood waters reached as high as five feet in some areas of Hernandez.
Photo: Viewer submitted photo

HERNANDEZ, N.M. -- After heavy rains flooded the Rio Chama River and put some homes under five feet of water in Rio Arriba County, residents say they'll need a lot more help than the sandbags they are currently receiving from the county.

Around 3 p.m. Wednesday, emergency crews responded to the community of Chili following reports of overflow in the Rio Chama River. Homes in the nearby community of Hernandez suffered major water damage and residents were forced to evacuate as result of the flood.

Rio Arriba County officials are still assessing the damage in order to make flood insurance claims. The county is giving out sandbags to help residents who have returned to clean their homes today. They are also setting up an account through Valley National Bank where people can send donations to homeowners who many not be completely covered by their insurance.

Officials say the evacuation center set up in Española last night has been emptied out and closed because most of the residents displaced by the flood found somewhere else to stay. But, the county is helping with temporary housing for those who need it.

Crews will continue setting up sandbags and clearing debris throughout the day.