Flood-affected area in Doña Ana County deemed safe to return to

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart announced late Sunday that people can return to their homes in the most flood-affected areas in La Union.

An assessment team deemed the area safe for people to return home to. Street parking will not be allowed in La Union as they need to be available during the restoration period.

“Water service has been restored and the roads are sufficiently cleared,” Stewart said. “Please remain cautious and remember that the roads are not yet fully restored and may have dangerous sections that should be approached with care.”

“Among the top concerns people may find upon their return home are mold, structural damage, septic systems, debris and water safety,” Office of Emergency Management Supervisor Stephen Lopez said. “Upon your return home, the first thing to do is make sure your home is safe.”

Doña Ana County officials recommend looking out for if the home is visibly leaning, a wall or roof shifted or collapsed, door not fully opening or close because of damaged walls, broken windows from shifting walls, large debris, an odor of propane or natural, no electricity and to make sure circuit breakers are all in the "On" position, as well as that there is no water in the circuit breaker and the outlets are not under water.

Officials also recommend walking through the structure and making a list of damages throughout the house. It is also recommended to take pictures in the house and to pay close attention to any debris inside, water marks on the walls and other obvious damage signs.

Governor Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency Sunday in Doña Ana County.