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Vado residents suffer severe flooding for third time in several weeks

Updated: Monday, September 30 2013, 03:46 PM MDT
Vado residents suffer severe flooding for third time in several weeks story image

By: Bill Melugin

VADO, New Mexico --

Vado is no stranger to the consequences of heavy rains in the Borderland.

A small trailer park in the town has flooded not once, not twice, but three times since late July, and residents say this time has been the worst.

"Once again, what happened here is what always happens, a total flood," said Maria Salazar. "When it rained, the water started building up and then the mud started spreading out all over the place."

Thick mud blanketed the entire area, including the road in and out of the trailer park, leaving some cars stuck in place, and some areas completely inaccessible.

Salazar's daughter, Yadira Hernandez, is pregnant and was expected to give birth Wednesday.

"I'm due today, and then this happened this morning, so I don't have anywhere else to go. This is my home," Hernandez said. "Our water service just got cut off, I don't know why, so I'm going to call the water company."

Salazar and Hernandez told KFOX14 they want to relocate to Las Cruces, and they had planned to move on Thursday.

"We were going to move our mobile homes tomorrow, but now we have to wait about a week, so I don't know what's going to happen," Hernandez said.

The biggest frustration for the mother and daughter is the lack of assistance from any officials.

"It's really frustrating because nobody ever does anything; there's this law that doesn't allow the county to help us," Hernandez said.

Holding back tears, Salazar said, "I don't understand why they can't help it's us. It's only my daughter and I, she's pregnant; it makes me so depressed."

KFOX14 asked Dona Ana County Commissioner Billy Garret that exact question.

"We cannot get involved directly in interventions because of the state Constitution, which prohibits use of public money and time for individuals, for individual benefit, even in the case of disasters," Garret said. "The main thing we're trying to do is to monitor the situation in terms of public safety, first priority is their personal safety, the second thing is we're doing what we can to afford some protection, for their personal property and homes. We're not trying to evacuate them, I think it's more accurate to say we're recommending it, and when I say we, I'm talking about the people who are specialists in emergency management -- they've looked at the situation and they are the ones recommending voluntarily moving out of the area."

For now, all Salazar and Hernandez can do is clean up, and hope more storms don't hit.

"This has affected all of us, we're all renting here, and all we want to do is just leave," Salazar said.

"I don't know why this happens. It's New Mexico, it never rains this bad. For people to be swimming in the arroyo, that's bad," Hernandez said.

Vado residents suffer severe flooding for third time in several weeks
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Residents living in the county suffered the most damage when heavy rainfall hit the Borderland. Cleanup efforts are underway and your help is needed. KFOX14 and The Salvation Army are teaming up to rebuild what they've lost.

Supplies Needed:
Sheet Rock
Roofing Materials

Supplies can be dropped off at: 4300 E. Paisano

Donate Online:
Call to Donate: 915-544-9811