Flooding Bernalillo


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Sal Reyes, Chairman, Algodones
Wayne Sandoval, Placitas
Jack Torres, Bernalillo
Larry Blair, Engineer Advisor

Ida Fierro, Secretary

Our Vision: Managing today’s storm waters for tomorrow’s benefits.

Our Mission: To promote the health, safety, prosperity, security and general welfare of the citizens of Eastern Sandoval County in a fiscally responsible manner;

To facilitate knowledge of floodplain management, erosion control, and environmental stewardship.

SIMPLY STATED: ESCAFCA is in the watershed management business. We protect property and development while preserving the natural beauty and rural character of Eastern Sandoval County.


What does funding for Eastern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (ESCAFCA) pay for?

It pays for:

  • A flood control authority in Bernalillo and Algodones. ESCAFCA will be the lead agency in the region, working cooperatively with other agencies and without duplication of services on flood control and watershed management including Sandoval County, Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA), the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA), Bernalillo and Algodones.

  • An organized process and system for controlling and approving new building/ development. This ensures building is done responsibly and without causing run-off and increased flooding risks to neighbors

  • Environmentally sensitive land maintenance program

  • Multi-purpose flood control projects with walking trails and access to natural habitats

  • Projects will be built in Algodones and Bernalillo.

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My home isn’t in a flood prone area. How does ESCAFCA provide benefit to me?
Property owners who live at the top of a watershed, although they do not experience flooding issues themselves, have a share in the cost of flood control measures: whether they realize it or not, their property’s development increases the amount of runoff flowing to their downstream neighbors. Roofs, pavement, and even disturbance of the soil reduces the ability of the soil to absorb rainfall. And whether or not you live in a flood plain, flooding can exposure underground utilities, which would create dangerous situations for everyone in the region.

However, the good news is that sharing in the responsibility for flood control will add real value to property.  It has been well-documented that flood control measures and watershed management practices add value by protecting structures from floodwaters.  In addition, ESCAFCA prevents future development of lands within the floodplain, thus reducing the likelihood that future homes will be exposed to flood damage.

Furthermore, many of the infrastructure options that ESCAFCA will construct will allow the opportunity for multi-use recreational and open space areas.  These are attractive features that add value to nearby properties and make the community in general more appealing.

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How will ESCAFCA pay for the construction of projects?
ESCAFCA is funded by a small portion of property tax and is approved by voters every four years. 

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Why do we need a flood control entity?

While multiple agencies share the responsibility of flood control, no one agency has the capital needed to pay for efficient and effective flood control. ESCAFCA will be the lead agency in the region and will work cooperatively with other agencies committed to flood control and watershed management including Sandoval County, Southern Sandoval County Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA), the Middle Rio Grande Conservency District, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA), Bernalillo and Algodones.

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Is my property located in a floodplain?

Floodplains are determined by FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) studies. The FEMA website is useful informational tool, but for definitive answers regarding floodplain locations, contact your local floodplain administrator:


Kelly Romero
Flood Plain Manager
P.O. Box 40
1500 Idalia Rd. Bldg. D
Bernalillo, New Mexico 87004
Phone: 505-867-7651
Fax: 505-771-7184

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What do different flood zone designations mean?
FEMA flood zone definitions can be found at their website.

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What is the 100-yr storm?
The term “100-year flood” is misleading. It is not the flood that will occur once every 100 years. Rather, it is the flood elevation that has a 1- percent chance of being equaled or exceeded each year. Thus, the 100-year flood could occur more than once in a relatively short period of time. The 100-year flood, which is the standard used by most Federal and state agencies, is used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as the standard for floodplain management and to determine the need for flood insurance. A structure located within a special flood hazard area shown on an NFIP map has a 26 percent chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage. [FEMA definition]

According to John Kelly, AMAFCA’s Executive Engineer, a 100-year storm event has been recorded at some location every year since its inception in 1963.

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Are ESCAFCA design or mapping resources available to the public?
Yes. Although ESCAFCA does not currently have any design or mapping materials, as its library grows these documents will be provided to the public at a minimal reproduction fee or available for review.

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Other Links of interest include:

FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/index.shtm

Sandoval County: http://www.sandovalcounty.com

AMAFCA: http://www.amafca.org

SSCAFCA: http://www.sscafca.org

MRGCD: http://www.mrgcd.com


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