Drilled by snow and wind Dec. 15, Rio Arriba County learned late this week that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called for a state of emergency there.
Lujan Grisham’s executive order includes up to $450,000 from the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for public recovery.
The storm damaged electrical services and other amenities. The Governor’s Office said the state constitution will not permit the money to go directly to private aid for individuals.
State emergency declarations authorize activation of the New Mexico National Guard if required and direct state Cabinet departments to assist if needed.
Rio Arriba County Manager Lucia Sanchez said some electrical water pumps and freezers aren’t working, and heating of some homes has been hindered by a shortage of propane delivery drivers.
State Homeland Security and Emergency Management Secretary Bianca Ortiz Wertheim said the Dec. 15 storm combined snow with heavy wind and freezing temperatures. She thanked local and state officials for their work and said the order would enable the county to make more repairs to infrastructure.
Additional money may go to communities, tribes and nonprofits that petition the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s recovery unit, a spokesman said.