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Rain still wreaks havoc in La Union a year after devastating floods

By- Clarissa Tapia
LA UNION, N.M.- The first thing people living the La Union notice when they step outside is dirt.

There is dirt everywhere in this neighborhood- on the curbs, the sidewalk, and most definitely the streets.

"You can tell here that it paved, but as you go further down to where the corner is, there's probably four to five... Six inches of sand," said Matilde Ortiz.

Much of the sand comes from heavy flooding in the area that's left a chunk of Sentenario Street closed for a year now.

For many residents, including Ortiz, the thought of rain just stresses them out.

"That's our biggest problem, all the sand it gets so high that eventually it's going to get into our homes again," said Ortiz.

Last September Dona Ana County officials helped move dirt to the sides of the roads, added gravel to the the closed portion of Sentenario Street, and installed an irrigation ditch.

All this, after devastating floods hit the area leaving damage to the drainage system, along with two 50-year old earthen dams breached and many people left with no drinking water for days.

With monsoon rains pummeling this area again, Ortiz says more needs to be done.

"Well at least, at the very least, for them to come out and take some of this sand away so it can flow the way it should flow because as the sand keeps building, it's not gonna go into the field," said Ortiz.

Ortiz and other residents were recently told to stop clearing the roads with a front end loader and wait until their work order away processed- to which Ortiz responds- "In the meantime, what do we do?" said Ortiz.