Sandoval County works on repairs after flooding

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SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. – After nearly a week of flooding, Sandoval County officials are cautiously optimistic about river conditions in Jemez and San Ysidro.  

“The weather seems to be pulling in our favor, and we hope that over the next few days this will crest, and start to go down as the snow melt gets off the mountain, and into the river, but not all at once,” said  Wayne Johnson, a Sandoval County Manager. 

The cool conditions slowing down that snow melt and allowing emergency management to work on repairs over the weekend. 

“The flooding down in San Ysidro, that was primarily due to a levy that failed. They did really good work a few days ago and were able to patch that up, and now you aren’t seeing flooding in San Ysidro,” said Johnson.  

Johnson says the main issue is just up the road in Jemez Springs—the wastewater plant. 

“We’ve been working very diligently to find how the river water got into the sewer. It shouldn’t have gotten in there, but it did and that’s what caused that overwhelming flow to hit the wastewater treatment plant,” Johnson said. 

The plant isn’t working, but they have found a workaround. 

“Right now it’s a waste holding facility more than it is a treatment facility, and we are having to truck all of the waste out of that facility down to probably Albuquerque where it’s dumped and treated down here,” said Johnson.  

The county is discouraging people from getting in the water. All surrounding picnic, fishing holes and campgrounds are closed. They have also closed soda dam and Battleship Rock. 

“That is because the water regardless or whether we are in a flux state or not it is running very fast getting in that cold water it could be a real problem getting out if you make it out at all,” said Johnson.  

They are also working on Hidden Valley Bridge off 126. 

Johnson says it serves about 40 people and is currently deemed unsafe.