Governor signs emergency declarations for Lincoln and Chaves County

Declarations follow a 100-year storm that has caused severe flooding since Memorial Day weekend

Santa Fe, NM – On Wednesday, Governor Lujan Grisham signed a pair of executive orders declaring states of emergency in Lincoln and Chaves County. These declarations follow the severe flooding that began over the Memorial Day weekend, and which continues to threaten public safety and critical infrastructure in these counties.

Together, these executive orders provide $1.5 million for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) to assist the affected counties with emergency protective measures, help prevent additional damages, repair public infrastructure, and lessen the overall recovery time. These executive orders also authorize the Adjutant General to activate the New Mexico National Guard for support deemed necessary, and these orders direct all cabinet departments and agencies to assist with a statewide response.

“This disaster requires immediate action to protect public peace, health, and safety and to preserve the lives and property of the people,” said Lincoln County Emergency Services Director Joe Kenmore. “The resources from the State of New Mexico will help minimize the economic or physical harm to both public and private properties. Lincoln County appreciates the immediate response from DHSEM. The County would also like to extend their gratitude to Governor Lujan Grisham and her staff for their immediate response in signing this executive order.”

“This Emergency Declaration will quickly open avenues for relief for those affected by this flood,” said Chaves County Manager Bill Williams. “On behalf of Chaves County, I want to thank all of the State, Local, and Federal agencies who worked together to provide relief to the people of Roswell and Chaves County. Repairs are being initiated, but this Emergency Order is the catalyst which will ultimately bring assistance to those who need it the most.”

“These declarations are a critical step for Lincoln and Chaves County,” said DHSEM Secretary Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim. “DHSEM has been engaged with local officials, the American Red Cross, and the US Army Corps of Engineers since early last week, and now we have the resources to provide broad and dynamic support to these counties. Despite this tragedy, our department has been inspired by the way these communities have come together to protect one another, propose solutions, and begin recovering from this disaster.”

The Roswell City Council is currently scheduled to discuss a disaster declaration for the City of Roswell later today.

For issues with wells, septic tanks, and cesspools, Lincoln County residents can contact Savanah Jones at (575) 258-1407. For questions on flood prevention and local recovery tools, Chaves County residents can contact Karen Sanders at 575-624-6740 or To schedule a damage assessment review, Acequia associations can contact Gregory Suko from the DHSEM Recovery Team at


DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters.