WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that President Obama has declared a major disaster for the state of New Mexico for the severe storms and flooding from July 27 – August 5.
The declaration means the president has ordered federal aid to help state, tribal, and local recovery efforts. The first round of assistance will be available on a cost-sharing basis for damage to public infrastructure in Guadalupe, Rio Arriba, and San Miguel counties and the Pueblo of Acoma. Assistance for Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Otero counties is still being evaluated, and federal funding will also be made available on a cost-sharing basis to assist with hazard mitigation statewide.
New Mexico's lawmakers on Oct. 2 jointly urged the president to respond quickly to the request for disaster assistance for the state of New Mexico. The severe summer storms and flooding damaged roads, bridges, a dam structure, and other infrastructure. According to Governor Susana Martinez’s letter requesting the major disaster declaration, 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.
“For our communities that sustained severe damage to roads, bridges, dams and other structures, the federal assistance that comes with this disaster declaration will go a long way in recovery efforts,” Udall said. “I am also monitoring the recovery efforts from September floods in Eddy County and other parts of Southeastern New Mexico, and will continue working to ensure the federal government fulfills its obligations to help with restoration in New Mexico's communities."
“I’m pleased the President responded to our request to take prompt action on the State's application for a disaster declaration. This means much-needed federal aid will now go to New Mexico communities recovering from the severe storms and devastating floods over the summer that damaged roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure," Heinrich said. "My office will continue to offer support and I will keep working to ensure the affected areas of our state receive the federal assistance they need in order to rebuild.”
“This disaster declaration and assistance will allow our hardest-hit communities to recover from the devastating impact of these storms,” Pearce said. “Southern counties are continuing to deal with the aftermath of road closures and infrastructure repair. I will work to ensure counties receive the federal assistance they need to move forward and rebuild.”
“As a result of the President’s declaration, communities that have been hit hard will have resources that are critical to the recovery from damage caused by severe storms and flooding,” Luján said. “This prompt action comes as communities are pulling together to rebuild and will help them take steps to prepare and protect against future flooding.”
"I appreciate the action by FEMA to pledge assistance to the hardest-hit communities, including the Pueblo of Acoma," Lujan Grisham said. "I am hopeful for a quick decision to extend federal assistance for flood damage in Bernalillo and other counties affected by this storm."