These orders follow similar declarations issued for Lincoln County, Chaves County, and the City of Roswell last month
Santa Fe, NM – Earlier today, Governor Lujan Grisham signed three executive orders declaring states of emergency in Eddy and Valencia counties, as well as the City of Belen. These declarations follow the heavy rainfall and severe flooding that began last week, and which continue to threaten public safety and infrastructure in these regions.
Each executive order provides up to $750,000 for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) to assist with public recovery efforts organized by city and county officials. Additionally, the declarations for Eddy and Valencia counties mean that effected localities within these counties could also be eligible for state assistance. State emergency declarations also authorize the Adjutant General to activate the New Mexico National Guard for support deemed necessary and direct all cabinet departments to assist with a statewide response.
“This declaration is a critical step in our county’s recovery,” said Valencia County Emergency Manager Sarah Gillen. “These state funds will give our emergency responders the resources they need to contain this disaster and make crucial repairs and improvements to help prevent future flooding. We greatly appreciate the immediate response from DHSEM and the support of Governor Lujan Grisham and her staff.”
“The State of New Mexico was on the ground on Day One to begin assisting with our flood response,” said Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova. “Belen has experienced a series of flood emergencies over recent years culminating in the dangerous storm last week. With the help of this emergency declaration, continued support from DHSEM, and recent state legislative appropriations, we know we will fix the damage and move our city closer to a permanent solution to our flooding issues. We are a resilient city. We will get through this.”
The New Mexico State Constitution does not allow state emergency funds to be used for direct assistance to private individuals. However, individuals who have been affected by a disaster can contact the American Red Cross of New Mexico for emergency support and recovery planning at 1-800-842-7349. Individuals can also contact their local emergency managers for help obtaining sandbags – a simple but effective tool for diverting flood waters. Detailed instructions for filling and placing sandbags are available here.
Residents of Belen can contact the city’s hotline for food assistance at 505-966-2734. New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief, available at 505-506-5309, is also helping Belen residents clean out homes that have been damaged by the flooding.
“These declarations will help our local governments implement critical response and recovery efforts to keep their communities safe,” said DHSEM Secretary Bianca OrtizWertheim. “For one, these funds can help repair damaged roads, bridges, sewage systems, and other infrastructure that residents and businesses need to thrive. Moving forward, DHSEM will continue to work closely with our city and county officials, as well as local NGOs and our federal partners, and we look forward to a coordinated and effective recovery.”
DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters.