New Mexico activates emergency operations over Newton storm

ALBUQUERQUE, Sept. 8 (UPI) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center to prepare for possible flooding caused by post-tropical cyclone Newton.

“As remnants of Tropical Storm Newton continue to bring heavy rains and flooding throughout the southern half of the state with more severe storms expected over the next 24 to 36 hours, I’ve activated the Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation and assist in response as needed,” Martinez said in a statement Wednesday. “Our emergency response professionals will continue to communicate and work with local partners in areas that have been affected by monsoon flooding to help ensure that all available resources can be coordinated to keep New Mexicans safe.”

Martinez’s administration contacted the Red Cross for additional support due to possible flooding. The National Hurricane Center previously warned of “life-threatening” conditions for residents in southern Arizona and southern New Mexico. At least five deaths have been blamed on the storm.

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Newton’s remnants dropped at nearly 6 inches of rain in Arizona’s Coronado National Forest. More than 3 inches fell in New Mexico’s city of Texico.

“Arizona and New Mexico have observed several inches of rain from post-tropical cyclone Newton as it tracked northward into the desert Southwest. This storm has quickly weakened during the overnight hours and is forecast to dissipate this morning, the National Weather Service said in a statement. “However, tropical moisture associated with its remnants will continue to bring heavy downpours from eastern Arizona into western New Mexico — flash flooding and mud slides are possible.”

The National Hurricane Center forecast less than an inch of rain attributed to Newton’s remnants will fall in Arizona and New Mexico on Thursday.

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