Ruidoso braces for elevated flooding threat

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RUIDOSO, N.M. — A high-level flooding threat descended on much of southern New Mexico Friday, including in Ruidoso, as KOB 4 meteorologists predict it will last through the weekend.

It’s caused officials with many agencies at the local, county, state and federal levels to go through their most rigorous flood preparations in the area since the McBride Fire earlier this year caused a burn scar that has left the area vulnerable.

“We’ve got quite a bit of rain that’s come down in different parts of the county,” Lincoln County Manager Ira Pearson said Friday.

The Monsoon has been pounding areas around the McBride fire for months, and the rain has already caused problems, including in spots in Ruidoso that experienced a ton of devastation from the fire.

“Gavilan Canyon (Road) over the last four weeks has been flooded. We’ve had to shut down the road probably four out of the seven days every week,” Pearson said.

Officials said they’ve spent days preparing.

“We have crews throughout the area monitoring what’s going on,” Pearson said.

Crews are ready to help people who need it, including helping with evacuations. If it gets to that point, people would be able to go to the Ruidoso Convention Center.

“If the call goes out, it’s time to evacuate and get out of the area,” Pearson said. “If they need to get out, get out. Don’t wait around. You can always come back to the house. We want everybody to try to be safe.”

The flooding threat is bad timing for the Ruidoso Downs. A village spokesperson said many people are in from out-of-town for the second-biggest weekend of the year for the horse racing track.

Local officials said the best way to stay up to date on dangerous conditions is to check the Village of Ruidoso’s Facebook and Twitter pages.