Falling trees force crews to evacuate Chama campsite | KOB 4

Falling trees force crews to evacuate Chama campsite

Megan Abundis
Updated: September 09, 2020 06:20 PM
Created: September 09, 2020 04:06 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- High winds forced emergency crews to evacuate a campsite in Chama early Wednesday morning.

Approximately 50 campers woke up to sirens and an announcement from the fire department.


"This is the fire department, please get out. This is a mandatory evacuation," a person is heard saying over a loudspeaker.

Rex Fochler, said it was a mad rush to get to leave the Rio Chama RV Park.

"I got up at one o'clock in the morning, started evacuating people out, knocking on doors," he said.

Jonah Samora of the Chama Fire Department said the area was too dangerous for people to stay.

"It sounded like a war zone, pretty much. You can hear the cracks and booms," he said. "Once you hear a crack, you got half a tree just laying on the floor two-feet from you. Keep your head on a swivel.”

Between the heavy snow and the falling trees, people knew it was time to leave,

'"There was a limb probably about six inches or so around that came down right across the top of this camper and smashed in, knocked all the cupboards loose," Fochler said. "The lady inside had minor injuries and then another log hit the front of the trailer and drove it into the ground. "

Another tree came down on the front of the trailer, where the propane was. However, everyone got out without any major injuries.

Crews hope to have the campground reopened by the weekend.

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