New Mexico Delegation Requests Expedited Major Disaster Declaration for Summer Floods

‘Prompt action’ urged to help state recover from severe storm damage

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to take prompt action on the State of New Mexico’s recent request for a major disaster declaration to assist with damage that occurred throughout the state during storms and flooding in July and August.

Between July 27 and August 5, parts of New Mexico including Bernalillo, Guadalupe, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and San Miguel counties, and the Pueblos of Acoma and Santo Domingo experienced severe storms and flooding that damaged roads, bridges, a dam structure, and other infrastructure. The state has requested the federal government approve a major disaster declaration request and provide the correlated public assistance to help with recovery efforts and repairs, which would include funding for debris removal; emergency protective measures; and repairs to damaged roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and parks and recreation facilities. 

According to Governor Susana Martinez’s letter requesting the major disaster declaration, dated September 29, 2014, damages resulting from these storms have currently been assessed at $3.93 million. The greatest overall damage occurred at the Acoma Pueblo, where access to the backcountry was cut off for residents and users. 

“In light of the ongoing losses and possible long-term impacts from flooding during the time period of July 27 through August 5, 2014, we request your expedited attention to Governor Martinez’s request for a major disaster designation and the correlated public assistance,” the lawmakers wrote. “We remain committed to providing the necessary assistance to you and the governor in expediting New Mexico’s recovery efforts and ensuring an effective response from this extreme weather event."

Extreme weather conditions last month also caused significant damage in Southeastern New Mexico as well. The lawmakers will continue to support recovery efforts for areas of the state impacted by more recent storms and flooding, upon submission of disaster declaration requests. 

The full text of the letter is available below and HERE

October 2, 2014

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC  20500

Dear President Obama:

We appreciate your past responsiveness to the State of New Mexico when our communities have sought federal disaster assistance as drought, fire, and extreme weather have threatened public safety and property.  We again respectfully request that you take prompt action on the State of New Mexico’s recent request for major disaster declaration as a result of severe storms and flooding that occurred July 27 through August 5, 2014. 

As Governor Martinez indicated in her letter of September 29, 2014, damages resulting from severe storms have been assessed at $3.93 million, or $1.91 per capita.  The bulk of damage was to roads and bridges throughout the state, but other infrastructure and natural resources were also heavily damaged.  The greatest overall damage occurred at the Acoma Pueblo, where access to the backcountry was cut off for residents and users.  Additionally, Santo Domingo Pueblo and the counties of Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Otero, and Guadalupe experienced severe damage to roads and other infrastructure. 

In light of the ongoing losses and possible long-term impacts from flooding during the time period of July 27 through August 5, 2014, we request your expedited attention to Governor Martinez’s request for a major disaster designation and the correlated public assistance, specifically categories A through G.  We remain committed to providing the necessary assistance to you and the governor in expediting New Mexico’s recovery efforts and ensuring an effective response from this extreme weather event. 

Sincerely,

  

Tom Udall

United States Senator

 

Martin Heinrich

United States Senator

 

Steve Pearce

United States Representative

 

Ben Ray Luján

United States Representative

 

Michelle Lujan Grisham

United States Representative