Water levels rising around campsites at Elephant Butte Lake

Kai Porter
May 24, 2017 06:28 PM

ELEPHANT BUTTE LAKE, N.M. -- The water is rising at New Mexico's largest lake, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.


Officials at Elephant Butte Lake State Park are expecting about 100,000 visitors over the weekend. This year, officials say water levels haven't been this high in about 10 years.

It’s a welcome sight for campers like Hue Huynh from Albuquerque.

"The water so far this year compared to last year, about 5 or 6 feet higher," Huynh said.

He’s been spending Memorial Day weekend at the lake for 30 years.

Both he and his granddaughter, Mylinh, have noticed their old camping spots are now covered in water.

"It's fun to go into the water every year. It's fun to see the island just goes into different levels," Mylinh said.

Officials say the water level is currently rising by two feet per week and that's left some campers in a bad situation.

Some campers and trailers are now in the water after it rose up around them. Park officials say you should never leave your campsite unattended.

"I know there's some out here that we've seen that are fifth wheels,” said Salvador Gonzalez, the park’s boating manager. "It's going to be hard for them to even hook up to their trailer because they're going to have to put their vehicles in the water."

Park officials aren’t allowed to help anyone get their RV or camper out of the water if the levels rise around it.

"They would have to get a two company or somebody in town that's going to be able to help them out," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said you can actually face a fine of around $80 if you leave your campsite unattended for more than 24 hours.


Kai Porter

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