U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján today announced that more than $3.5 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding will be awarded to New Mexico to help San Miguel and Santa Fe counties recover from severe fires and flooding.
Pojoaque Valley Irrigation District will receive $1,028,174 for emergency repairs to the Nambé Falls Reservoir to clear out debris and sediment that flowed into the reservoir during severe storms and flooding in September 2014. The reservoir provides water for irrigation purposes to nearby communities, which include the pueblos of San Ildefonso, Nambé, and Pojoaque. This funding brings the total amount FEMA has designated for recovery efforts from the September 2014 storms and flooding to more than $2.6 million.
The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department will receive $2,478,581 to reimburse firefighting costs incurred while fighting the Tres Lagunas Fire, which threatened hundreds of homes and burned thousands of acres in San Miguel County in May and June of 2013. The funding is being awarded through FEMA's Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, and covers expenses including field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.
“I'm pleased that FEMA has provided these additional resources to help clean up the Nambé Falls Reservoir and pay for critical firefighting resources that extinguished the Tres Lagunas Fire and saved hundreds of homes,” Udall said. “Fires, severe storms and flooding take a significant toll on our communities, and I'll continue to work to make sure that New Mexico has the resources needed to prevent and fight these disasters, and also mitigate the impact they have on our water resources.”
“This FEMA funding is critical to the cleanup efforts at Nambé Falls Reservoir, which provides irrigation water to local farmers,” Heinrich said. "I’m also pleased federal aid will go toward reimbursing firefighting costs from the Tres Lagunas Fire. I will continue working to ensure communities across New Mexico affected by severe flooding and devastating fires receive the assistance they need to rebuild and recover.”
“FEMA funds provide critical support to our communities that have been hard hit by flood, fire, and other disasters,” Luján said. “These important federal funds will contribute to the effort to restore Nambé Falls Reservoir and protect our water resources that are critical to the livelihood of these communities, particularly during these times of drought. This funding will also help provide our firefighters with the proper resources and equipment as they prepare for the next fire season. I commend our firefighters for their tremendous efforts battling the Tres Lagunas Fire, and I will continue to advocate for the necessary funding to bolster their efforts.”
The funding will be awarded directly to the state of New Mexico on behalf of Pojoaque Valley Irrigation District and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and is expected to cover 75 percent of costs for each project.