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Governor declares state of emergency for Roswell

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An executive order Monday will make more flood recovery resources available for the city of Roswell.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an order declaring a state of emergency for the city, according to a press release form the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Lujan Grisham last week signed orders declaring states of emergency for Chaves and Lincoln counties.

Monday’s order follows a vote Thursday by the Roswell City Council to declare a state of disaster from flooding in south Roswell. Heavy rains over Memorial Day weekend caused flooding that breached a levee 1.25 miles west of the Roswell Air Center. Water flowed from that levee into south Roswell for 11 days, flooding streets and homes.

The order activates the National Guard for any necessary responses, establishes a statewide emergency response that spans all state agencies and provides $750,000 to support local recovery efforts, according to the press release.

The state constitution does not allow state emergency funds to be used for financial assistance to private individuals, however. The money will be used for recovery of public infrastructure and services.

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“The City of Roswell appreciates the state’s Declaration of a State of Emergency as a result of the exceptional Memorial Day weekend storm,” Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh said in the press release. “These emergency funds will help our community move forward more quickly with the relief needed to help the city’s residents impacted by this flooding. While the full extent of the damage is not yet known, the City of Roswell welcomes the support and assistance from our State of New Mexico partners. Repairing and rebuilding will be a team effort with the City, Chaves County, and State of New Mexico working together.”

“The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will continue to work closely with all local, state, and federal partners to help Southeastern New Mexico recover from this ongoing disaster,” said DHSEM Secretary Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim. “With this latest executive order, our department can help coordinate the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure, reinforce emergency protective measures, and support local recovery projects.”

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