Alamogordo, NM- 10/2/2019 – Sitting Bull Falls on the Guadalupe Ranger District will be temporarily closed due to flooding. Monday evening a severe thunderstorm flooded the two main roads to Sitting Bull Falls, Eddy County Road 408 and NM Highway 137. The roads are currently closed for public safety while the water recedes; however, more rain is expected Thursday evening.
Floods are among the most common weather hazards in the United States. In New Mexico flash floods are more common in late summer and fall, during the monsoon season.
"Flash floods can occur within minutes of heavy rainfall, and are usually caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, like the one we saw earlier this week," stated Forest Service Engine Capitan Jared Strahorn. "It's important to note it may not be raining in town, but flash floods can be destructive when it rains at the top of a canyon and the water flows downhill rapidly."
Floodwaters can move homes and cars, uproot trees and destroy bridges. Because floods happen with little to no warning, residents in low-lying areas are particularly at risk. Almost half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related, according to the National Weather Service.
If you're driving and approach a water-covered road, the best option is to turn around. Just six inches of water can stall a vehicle, and two feet can float most cars, trucks and SUVs. Avoid hiking if thunderstorms are predicted, so you don't become stranded if floodwaters rise.
Another press release will be issued once access to Sitting Bull Falls has reopened.
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