Flash flood emergency issued for Ruidoso

Flash floods prompt more evacuations in Ruidoso

Some residents in Ruidoso were allowed to go back home, albeit briefly, to collect their belongings before more flooding is expected Wednesday.

RUIDOSO, N.M. — The National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued flash flood emergency for the Ruidoso area Wednesday afternoon.

Officials are warning the area along U.S. Highway 70 near Ruidoso Downs is most at-risk. At around 1:44 p.m. Wednesday, local law enforcement reported significant flash flooding over the South Fork Burn Scar. They estimated around 0.75-1.25 inches had fallen. They expect another 0.25-0.75 inches in the warned area where flash flooding is already happening.

Highway 70 is currently closed at the Casino Apache Travel Center. The National Weather Service is also receiving reports from local emergency management of swift water rescues along Highway 70 in the Ruidoso Downs area.

Ruidoso residents in the Upper Canyon already evacuated. Officials expected flash flooding, debris flows and landslides due to significant rainfall. These roads are also closed:

  • Main Road at South
  • Fern Trail
  • Brady Canyon at Ponderosa
  • Paradise Canyon at Phillip’s Circle, Hull Road and Country Club

The flooding was expected to be so bad Wednesday that FEMA closed their Disaster Recovery Centers at 11 a.m. They expect to resume normal operations Thursday at 7 a.m.

An evacuation shelter is at the White Mountain Relief Center at 687 Hull Road, which is the White Mountain Sports Complex.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued a flash flood warning until 4 p.m. for Ruidoso. Lincoln County emergency officials say flooding is possible at Gavilan Canyon, Lower Eagle Creek, Cedar Creek, Alpine Village and Ski Run Road over the next three hours.

Sandbags are available at the following locations:

  • Fire Station 2 – Self-fill, bags and sand are available
  • Wingfield Park – Self-fill, bags and sand are available
  • Gateway Church of Christ – Bags available and are already filled

The Village of Ruidoso cleared Upper Canyon on Tuesday night to let homeowners have access from 6-9:30 a.m. Wednesday. That was to allow them to gather any personal belongings before another weather event was forecast for around 10 a.m.

Ruidoso was under a flash flood emergency Tuesday after a storm, dumping massive amounts of rain, sat over the village for hours.