In a comprehensive move to protect the small village of Hatch, the Dona Ana County Flood Commission has announced plans to build a new $12.7 million dam at the lower Spring Canyon.
The project is the result of years of study and an agreement forged between the flood commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
According to sources, the $12.7 million project will be funded primarily through the Army Corps, although additional funding is also coming from the Flood Commission.
Three appropriations with a dollar value of just over $2.2 million, earlier approved by the New Mexico State Legislature, will also help support the project.
Located nearly just under 40 miles northwest of Las Cruces, Hatch has a population of around 1,600 people and has been repeatedly subject to late summer flooding resulting in damage to structures, roads, and land in the village.
According to a press release from the Flood Commission, the damages from floods in Hatch have exceeded more than $5 million in the last several decades.
One of the most memorable floods occurred in August of 2006, when the nearby Placitas Arroyo was overwhelmed, resulting in up to 6 feet of water pushing though the village.
Work is expected to begin by early next year on the design phase of what will be an earthen embankment dam.
By Garry Boulard
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