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NEWS | Sept. 24, 2014

New Mexico National Guard Soldiers assisting following floods

By New Mexico National Guard

EDDY COUNTY, N.M. – As of Wednesday, 62 Soldiers from the New Mexico National Guard remained on state active duty following flooding that resulted last week from Tropical Storm Odile.

Gov. Susana Martinez ordered the activation of the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the New Mexico National Guard to pre-position equipment Thursday morning throughout southern New Mexico in anticipation of possible severe flooding caused by heavy rains associated with the remnants of the storm.

Soldiers completed two rescue missions of flood victims in the Carlsbad area Friday afternoon.

Guard members first responded with two high water equipped Light-Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTVs) to rescue stranded people on top of top a semi truck and others on the side of a creek just south of Carlsbad.

On Monday, two more LMTVs were dispatched along with members of the Otis Volunteer Fire Department to evacuate 40 stranded workers at a drilling location south of Malga. The workers were moved to a safe location.

A third mission required Guardsmen in an LMTV to transport oil company employees back to the oil well to perform shut-down operations to avert environmental concerns. They were accompanied by a unit of the Loving Volunteer Fire Department.

“It is our duty to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice when New Mexico communities, citizens and first responders need our assistance,” said Brig. Gen. Andrew Salas, the adjutant general of New Mexico. “They are the reason why we train and serve.”

Martinez signed Executive Order 2014-015 early last week declaring an emergency across the state. The executive order released $750,000 to the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to help communities across the state respond and recover from damages sustained from the storm.