Belen residents hope city uses emergency funds to prevent future flooding

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Tracy Howard and her husband have lived next to a drainage ditch in Belen since 2006. They moved onto Castillo Road right before the High Line Canal breached that year.

"We felt fortunate at the time, and everyone said this is rare and then along comes 2018, that took out everything in our garage, ruined a freezer," Howard said.

The Howards were hit again in 2021.

"Believe it or not, we still had sand bags in front of the garage door," Howard said. "We got very lucky. We weren’t expecting it, but we kept them there."

The Howards want to see if Belen officials will actually make any changes with the emergency money that was approved by the governor.

"We have a lot of infrastructure that was damaged. As a part of this flood emergency, we have roadways, sidewalks, gosh everything you could think of," said Belen Mayor Jerah R. Cordova.

After clean up, Cordova said they’ll turn to new infrastructure – like more ponds and ditch work.

There’s no deadline for Belen to use the $750,000.