New Mexico drought setting new records

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico is slipping further into drought, having marked the driest two-year period in nearly 120 years of record-keeping.

National weather forecasters and water managers shared the latest statistics on New Mexico’s devastatingly dry conditions during a meeting Tuesday. They say the last 12- and 24-month periods have eclipsed even those dry times of the early 20th century and the 1950s.

For the first four months of this year, New Mexico has seen less than half of its normal precipitation, with communities in the south and along the Rio Grande Valley seeing even less.

Forecasters say the Santa Fe and Socorro areas have received just 17 percent of their normal snow and rainfall so far this year.

And with the snowpack now melted, officials say there is nothing to replenish the state’s reservoirs.

U.S. Marshals net more than $200K from auction

ALBUQUERQUE — The U.S. Marshals Service in Albuquerque has auctioned seized vehicles and raised more than $200,000.

The agency said the auction over the weekend netted $212,175 for law enforcement and victims of crime groups. Among the items auctioned were a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette that sold for $3,800 and a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette that sold for $20,500.

Officials say the items auctioned once belonged to individuals and companies involved in criminal activity.

Proceeds from the auction also will be shared with state and local law-enforcement agencies that participated in the investigations leading to the forfeiture of the assets.

Crews mop up brush fires in Southern New Mexico

SUNLAND PARK — Fire crews are mopping up brush fires along the Texas-New Mexico line near Sunland Park.

Doña Ana County sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Jameson says some hot spots continued to smolder Tuesday as crews used hand tools in areas inaccessible to fire engines.

She said no homes were destroyed, but there was damage to patios and garages on the Texas side of the state line.

Jameson said the first fire was reported late Monday afternoon on a river levee near a school, and high winds caused the fire to spread.

The cause of the fire isn’t known, and no estimate was available on the size of the fire.

(1) comment

Sabine Strohem

Water your trees folks. Skip the grass if you have any, but try to keep your trees alive.

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