Ruidoso officials prepare for potential flooding

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RUIDOSO, N.M. — Runoff near the McBride Fire burn scar is a concern for citizens in one southern New Mexico city, especially as storms rolled through Wednesday.

Ruidoso experienced a break from the rain in the morning but, just before 1 p.m., thunderstorms hit and knocked out the power in midtown for about a half-hour.

During the storm, which brought heavy rain, pea-sized hail and winds, fire crews were patrolling the burn scar to ensure the runoff wasn’t covering the road.

“We are watching for gravel and stuff that washes down,” said Ruidoso Fire Chief Joe Kasuboski. “That is where a lot of debris will wash off so we gotta be careful.”

“All the firefighters are trained with chainsaws, so if a tree falls across we carry chainsaws on all the trucks and they can remove a tree and get it out at that point in time,” the chief elaborated.

The Gavilin Canyon Road runs right along the McBride Fire burn scar. As the water runs off the mountain, it flows through people’s yards and pushes debris onto the road.

“What did you see in this area yesterday, right where the stop sign is right here, debris has washed down and was three-fourths the way across the road fairly thick, about five or six inches deep,” the chief explained.