Police: 1 dead from flooding in New Mexico

New Mexico Storm

La Union residents snap photos with their cell phone cameras while others look on in disbelief at what was once San Antonio Street before flood waters demolished the entire roadway, leaving many residents in La Union, N.M. stranded in their homes, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. Previously drought-stricken rivers surged their banks across New Mexico on Friday, closing roads, stranding children at schools and forcing evacuation from Las Vegas to Truth or Consequences from “life-threatening” floods. (AP Photo/The Las Cruces Sun-News, Shari Vialpando-Hill) MANDATORY CREDIT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico residents began cleaning up and assessing the damage on Saturday after harsh flooding ruptured dams and claimed the life of at least one person.

State Police Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said the body of a man was found Saturday in his partially submerged vehicle next to State Road 51 in Ash Canyon, about 150 miles from Albuquerque. Investigators believe the man died after his vehicle washed into a ravine covered in mud near the Elephant Butte dam and was washed nearly a miles off roadway, probably Friday during the flooding, Gutierrez said.

The man’s name was not released.

The death is the first related to massive flooding in New Mexico this week from record heavy rains and overflowing rivers.

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