New Mexico is looking at, so far, an estimated $6.87 million worth of road and highway repairs from recent heavy rains and floods that battered the state in September, transportation officials say.
Other damage assessments have yet to be tallied, as local and federal officials look for funds to help kick off the repair work more quickly.
Twenty-five of New Mexico's 33 counties experienced flooding and infrastructure damage since two major storms slammed the state between Sept. 13 and Sept. 24 and dropped more than eight inches of rain in some regions of the state.
Gov. Susana Martinez (R) declared a state of emergency after the storms. She has released $750,000 in state funding to help mitigate costs. The governor's office is still awaiting a federal declaration, a spokesman says.
On Sept. 20, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation announced it was making available $2 million to help the state cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by severe storms.
The hardest-hit counties include Catron, Chavez, DeBaca, Doña Ana, Eddy, Los Alamos, Mora, Sandoval and San Miguel, according to the New Mexico Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In Doña Ana, Los Alamos, McKinley, Rio Arriba and San Miguel counties, residents report damage to buildings and homes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been assisting state and county personnel in assessing the damage. However, according to both the New Mexico Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation, it will take weeks to determine the true extent of the damage and needed repairs.
"Communities across our state are cleaning up from devastating floods, and many are facing expensive repairs to roads and bridges and other public infrastructure," said U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D) in a statement in late September. "We have many weeks and months of cleanup ahead."