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Officials take steps to address monsoon rains as Ruidoso businesses continue recovery

Rain falls on Ruidoso as disaster recovery efforts continue.
Courtney Hill
Rain falls on Ruidoso as disaster recovery efforts continue.

Even after storms brought significant flooding to Ruidoso and prompted over 160 water rescues, some businesses are still open, even as they contend with the weather.

Village officials are asking tourists and second home owners to stay away for the time being, but in the same vein, some businesses are trying to get back to some level of normalcy.

Denni Cheney owns the Win Place & Show Bar in downtown Ruidoso, and said dealing with the natural disasters the past few weeks has posed significant challenges to residents.

“We want to keep our guys employed. We want to make sure that they can pay those bills. Everyone’s willing to work and they work hard, so we just want to make sure we have a job for them to come to everyday,” she said. “We just want to keep everyone safe. So we’re trying to be ahead of it. We’re pretty much just one day at a time.”

Officials are also taking steps to prepare themselves for more rain. Some wildfire crews are helping fill and distribute sandbags to help mitigate flood damage to property, and swift water rescue teams have been staged in areas of concern.

According to a Lincoln County spokesperson, county assessors are expected to be in the area next week to evaluate the extent of the damage done to the town through this series of natural disasters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also in the area, and according to Roberto Baltodano, external affairs officer for the agency, FEMA is working in conjunction with local authorities to help victims stricken by the fires and now flooding.

“We have the disaster recovery center, which is located at 237 Service Road in Ruidoso, behind the district court, where we can speak individually to each survivor, idintify their needs, and thereby put together a plan for their recovery by providing them financial funds.”

Baltodano said it’s important for disaster victims to reach out to FEMA as soon as possible.

“We encourage those affected to apply today. Even if you don’t have the documentation that you [need], or even if you’re not sure what losses you had, what’s important is that you reach out and you register with FEMA today."

Victims of the fires and flooding can find help at DisasterAssistance.gov, or call the FEMA assistance line between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. MST at 800-621-3362.

Jonny Coker is a Multimedia Journalist for KRWG Public Media. He has lived in Southern New Mexico for most of his life, growing up in the small Village of Cloudcroft, and earning a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at New Mexico State University.
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