Monday, July 28, 2008

Dolly Clobbers Ruidoso

Trouble in southern NM:
The storm brought five inches of rain that prompted Flash flood and flood warnings for much of the day in Ruidoso and the surrounding area. The flood crest reached Hollywood at 4:45 a.m. Sunday with a stage height of 11.15 feet.

Campers at Bonito Lake woke up to the sound of rushing water, which quickly turned to yelling and screaming. One woman said she saw a family rushing to get their kids to the car in water that was up to their knees.

Down the river in Ruidoso, the wood and metal bridges met their match in the mud and water. At least four bridges in the town were destroyed.

Early estimates indicated that 60 homes were damaged, with those closest to the water being categorized as total losses. The community had not seen any serious flooding in the past 30 years.

There were at least 7 sucessful swift water rescues in the area, however, search crews are still searching for one person. Tom Schaefer, the emergency management coordinator for Lincoln County, said helicopter rescue crews searched the area for people who needed an airlift, but found none.

At least 150 people are currently in shelters which are set up at The Bonita Nazarene Church and Gateway Church Of Christ.

Area automated rain gauges report 2 -day rainfalls of 4.87 inches at White Mountain Meadows, Ruidoso; 4.59 inches at 15th and Juniper in Alamogordo; and 4.40 inches at Cloudcroft Fire Station 82 in Cloudcroft.

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