Ongoing Post-Fire Risk Communication Efforts
The Hermits Peak Fire, located approximately 35 miles northeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico, initiated on April 4, 2022 in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As of July 17, 2022, the fire burned 341,735 acres and was 93% contained. The Cook’s Peak Fire, located approximately 70 miles northeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico, initiated on April 17,2022 in the mesas and canyons of the Cimarron Range and south. As of May 13, 2022, the fire burned 59,359 acres and was 100% contained. On May 4, 2022 the New Mexico Wildfires were declared a major disaster by the President of the United States. The upcoming monsoon season consisting of high intensity-short duration rainfall events threatens to cause sediment debris flows and increased flooding in areas affected by the fires. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Albuquerque District (SPA) provided hydrologic estimates of the magnitude of the flood and debris yield potential post-wildfire and utilized peak flows in hydraulic modeling (AutoRoute) performed by the Engineer Research Development Center (ERDC), Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) to develop inundation maps to inform potential flood zones. The Silver Jackets team, particularly State representatives, are acting as a conduit for information sharing and risk communication, both in data housing and directly with affected communities. The USACE Rapid Flood Inundation Mapbooks for the 2022 Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire and GIS Data are hosted on the University of New Mexico (UNM) Resource Geographic Information System.
Detailed Floodplain Mapping for the Village of Ruidoso, NM
This effort will provide detailed and updated floodplain mapping for the Village of Ruidoso in southern NM, a co-priority for the NM Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM). The current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) was developed in 2011. Since then, hydrographic features of the Village of Ruidoso have changed significantly. The previously developed FIRMs no longer represent the actual flooding in the area and several urban areas are regularly undergoing flooding problems. In addition to the Village, partners include USACE, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and DHSEM. Regulatory floodplain maps will be developed using a vast database of existing data collected by the Village and the State. The Village plans to submit a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) after the model and maps are completed.
New Mexico Dam Risk Assessment Standard Operating Procedure
The collaborative effort will develop a comprehensive Risk Assessment Plan and Standard Operating Procedure for locally owned dams in the State’s Jurisdictional Dam Portfolio. This effort will bring together federal, state, and local partners, using the Las Cruces Dam owners and operators as the pilot team. The State is interested in potential applying this plan to all dams in the Portfolio and to justify funding local dam owners to conduct assessments in the future. If adopted, the plan will be applied across the State's Dam Safety Bureau Portfolio, which includes almost 300 local dams, 175 of which are currently considered "high hazard".
Flood Plain Management Plans
Floodplain management plans were created for the Pueblo of Tesuque, Ohkay Owingeh, and the Upper Rio Grande Watershed District. The plans evaluated existing drainage conditions and seek to provide a generalized set of recommendations to support flood risk reduction along multiple roadways, residential and agricultural areas.