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PSA 7/6/24 The Unsung Heroes of the Water Crisis:

City of Las Water Treatment Employees

Las Vegas, NM – On Friday June 21, 2024, several hours of excessive rainfall occurred over the City of Las Vegas and surrounding area, prompting flash flood warnings by the National Weather Service, and soon, many areas in the city began to experience widespread flooding, areas that had never flooded before. Excessive amounts of water containing debris, silt and ash rushed down the Gallinas River with extreme velocity, compromising all of the City’s water reservoirs. It was instantly clear this was a cascading flood event due to the aftermath of the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire which decimated the City’s watershed in 2022.

While city officials immediately collaborated with the Sulzer Group, state and federal officials on the complications of this event, resulting in a one and a half days of treated water remaining for the community, it was the water treatment employees out on the field who kept the City’s water treatment plant safe and operational. They brainstormed every possible option to continue water treatment, working around the clock with very little sleep. Water treatment employees never gave up even when the situation appeared impossible. They pushed through so many different and complicated challenges but kept producing as much water as the plant allowed. It is to these employees we credit so many of the successes we are continuing to see as we accumulate our water reserves.

We thank Interim Utilities Director Travis Martinez, Donald Swett, Josh Scoggin, Dominic Mares, Sam Lujan, Jesus Hathaway, Archie Allemand, Carlos Archuleta, Michael Helm, Fred Travis Hern, Jessie Herrera, Alfred Maes, Joshua Martinez, Melyssa Montano, Lance Schmidt, Jonathan Solano, Michael Varela and Marvin Martinez.

The City is extremely proud to have these brave men and women on the team. We ask the community to join us in thanking them for their courage, bravery and heroic dedication to keep safe drinkable water flowing into our community.

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