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County closes portions of some roads crossing waterways

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Water fills the retention pond behind the Chaves County Administrative Center on Tuesday afternoon as well as nearby parking lots. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Chaves County has closed several roads where they cross rivers or waterways after Monday and Tuesday saw about 4 inches of rain in the area.

“Although the water is not currently at flood stage, the conditions can change in a matter of minutes. It is never safe to cross flowing water,” said Chaves County Road Operations Director Joe West.

He said people should turn around and find alternative routes if they come to flowing water.

He said Berrendo River flows have caused six closures at West Country Club Road, North Brown Road, North Sycamore Avenue, North Montana Road and Crooked Creek Road. Those are in the Roswell area or near Roswell.

The Rio Felix flows in the Dexter and Hagerman area have closed three crossings at Cherokee Road, Lincoln Road and Shoshoni Road. As of press time Tuesday, the Rio Old YO Road and the Morgan Road Bridge remained open. 

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In addition, the county closed Spence Road and Jackson Road where they cross Walnut Draw. Those are in the Hagerman and Lake Arthur area.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation also has closed State Road 2 in the Lake Arthur area.

West indicated that his employees will check road conditions all day during the current inclement weather conditions to ensure barriers remain up and in case other closures are necessary.

Dick Smith, superintendent of the Chaves County Flood Commission, said he is monitoring water levels at various areas in the county frequently throughout the day and said that rain levels are not yet at a point where he is concerned about flooding or a breach of the flood-control levee west of the city of Roswell.

The National Weather Service indicates that 4.2 inches of rain fell in the Roswell area from 5:51 a.m. Monday until 2:51 p.m. Tuesday.

Rain is possible throughout the rest of the week, according to the Weather Service, with a 70% probability for Wednesday and 40% for Wednesday night.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.