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New Directors take office in two Districts
Deborah L. Stover in District 1 and Cynthia D. Borrego in District 2
- January 2, 2015

On January 2, 2015, Deborah L. Stover and and Cynthia D. Borrego were sworn in as Directors in District 1 and District 2. Their terms will end on December 31, 2020.

2015 Board
AMAFCA Collaborates with USACE on Burrowing Owl Habitat
Local Girl Scout Troup Assists with Habitat Installation
- January 8, 2014, Update April 3, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - On December 14, 2013, eight members of Girl Scout Troup 35 assisted in the installation of artificial burrowing owl habitat in the Calabacillas Arroyo, replacing habitat that was disturbed during recent construction of bank stabilization and protection in the arroyo. AMAFCA's Field Engineer, Kurt Wagener, spearheaded the AMAFCA effort.

The complete story is on the U.S. Army's website: USACE's Albuquerque District joins with others to create new habitats for burrowing owls. The story also includes more photos of the installation, links to videos of the project, and a link to a related story.

On March 22, 2014, the girls received their patches, presented by Lt. Col. Gant, commander, Albuquerque District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The full story is available on the U.S. Army's website: Local Girl Scout Troup Receives Badges for Joint Collaboration with USACE/AMAFCA.

Those who worked on the project
AMAFCA Collaborates with US Fish and Wildlife on Valle de Oro
"Water" Theme Ties in with AMAFCA's Purpose
- January 2, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – January 2, 2014 – The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) is pleased to announce the first public meeting to discuss overall site-planning for the refuge and the flood control facilities which will be incorporated into the Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge. The public meeting will take place on January 9, 2013 from 5pm to 8pm at The Mountain View Community Center located at 201 Prosperity Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87105.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to comment on site planning for the entire property including proposed flood control and storm water quality infrastructure being developed by AMAFCA. The site plan, being developed for AMAFCA by Wilson & Company, Inc, will provide the general layout of the various components of the property such as the visitor center, trails, wetlands and flood control swales. The flood control and storm water quality infrastructure will be within an easement acquired by AMAFCA for the purpose of collecting storm water from portions of the Southeast Valley, improving the quality of the water, and then discharging the water into the Bosque. The project is part of AMAFCA’s Southeast Valley Drainage and Water Quality Management Plan, which was adopted by AMAFCA on April 26, 2012.

“I am pleased with the success of this partnership’s early efforts,” said Tim Eichenberg, AMAFCA Board Chairman. "The Authority plans, designs, constructs, and maintains flood control and stormwater quality facilities within Albuquerque. Valle de Oro will allow for a unique opportunity to protect life and property and to use it as an educational tool to help educate the public that the health of the Rio Grande and the community is directly related to the health of the surrounding urban watershed and to Albuquerque’s past, present and future."

AMAFCA is committed to stormwater quality and protecting our precious water resources in the arid Southwest.

See the press release for more information. Comments may be made to vdocomments@amafca.org.

Valle de Oro site from the air
Valle de Oro is a collaborative project between AMAFCA and the US Fish and Wildlife that not only protects life and property, but will enhance water quality in the Rio Grande, create habitat and provide education opportunities for generations to come.

AMAFCA Snowman Float a Crowd Favorite
Wins Category at 2013 Twinkle Light Parade
- December 12, 2013
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On December 7, 2013, AMAFCA participated in the Twinkle Light Parade for the first time, with a float that featured the famous AMAFCA Tumbleweed Snowman. The Tumbleweed Snowman has appeared in print publications including The History of the Snowman (Bob Eckstein, 2007), the December 2013 issue of the National Geographic, and in the Albuquerque Journal. For many, the holiday season is officially underway when the tumbleweed snowman appears alongside I-40.

This event showcased AMAFCA's commitment to public outreach and served to inform the public of the AMAFCA mission statement of protecting life and property within our agency's authority. AMAFCA's tumbleweed snowman is part of Albuquerque's culture and AMAFCA will continue to use him/her to promote flood control in the greater Albuquerque/Bernalillo County area.

AMAFCA is pleased to announce that the float won First Place in the government category of the Twinkle Light Parade. Congratulations to all AMAFCA staff who donated, worked on, supported and rode on the Twinkle Light Parade float this year.

What a great way to bring AMAFCA's 50th anniversary to a close! Together, we will make AMAFCA's next 50 years even safer to the citizens within our authority.

Photo credits: AMAFCA and Bob Willis

(For more information about the AMAFCA Tumbleweed Snowman, see the Snowman Page of the AMAFCA website.)

Investment in Flood Control Pays Dividends
Albuquerque Journal Guest Editorial by Chairman Tim Eichenberg
- October 13, 2013

Guest Editorial pdf

In 1900, Albuquerque had a population of about 6,000 residents, and was heavily reliant on agriculture and animal husbandry for its economic well-being.

By the early 1940s, Albuquerque’s increasing urbanization and economic potential were being negatively affected by flooding from the Rio Grande and storm water runoff from local thunderstorms. Levees were built along the Rio Grande to contain the river; however, the North and South Valleys, including the downtown area, continued to be flooded by storm water runoff.

By 1960, the greater Albuquerque urban population had swelled to more than 200,000 and, in 1963, its citizens approved the creation of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority, AMAFCA, to construct large regional flood control facilities to protect life and property.

In 1965, construction started on AMAFCA’s primary facility in the northeast part of Albuquerque, the North Diversion Channel, to protect the North Valley and portions of downtown from upland flooding.

By 1972, AMAFCA’s primary southeast facility, the South Diversion Channel, was being constructed to protect the South Valley area east of the Rio Grande, from downtown to the Tijeras Arroyo. In 1975, flooding on the west side of the Rio Grande in the South Valley from Isleta Pueblo to Central Avenue required AMAFCA to begin construction of dams west of Coors Boulevard.

The northwest and northeast areas of town also experienced flooding problems.

In 1988, runoff in the Calabacillas Arroyo sent hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sediment toward the river, which caused a partial blockage of the Rio Grande. By 1990, AMAFCA started structural improvements in the arroyo to diminish peak flows and to minimize sediment transport in the naturalistic arroyo.

Albuquerque had already grown to a population of 345,000 and AMAFCA began constructing dams in North Albuquerque Acres to control peak flows and to reduce floodplain area.

The new millennium brought challenges to AMAFCA’s facilities.

Storm events in 2006 produced flooding in downtown that affected business and residential properties alike. AMAFCA provided funding to the city of Albuquerque to construct regional flood control facilities to protect the Martineztown and Barelas communities.

The monsoon season of 2013 has provided us with a unique situation to evaluate the investment that we have made over the last 50 years.

In the first two weeks of July, residents in the South Valley experienced rain events that filled the Amole Dam for the first time and caused large flows in the South Diversion Channel.

No homes were flooded or streets closed in this area.

The July 23 storm blew in with hurricane-strength winds, and uprooted trees, damaged power lines, closed roads and dumped large amounts of rain from Alameda to Bridge Boulevards.

Surge ponds filled, pumps stations pumped and flood control channels conveyed runoff to the Rio Grande. Only downtown reported flood damage.

It continued to rain in August and September, which resulted in many AMAFCA dams being filled to their highest levels ever. The wettest September since 1929 caused the Calabacillas Arroyo to flow more than 10 times this year. Numerous flows equated to the one seen in 1988. The AMAFCA facilities worked as designed with minimal damage.

The investment in flood control that started in 1963 to protect life and property is still paying dividends today. The North and South Valleys did not flood; the Calabacillas Arroyo did not send a large amount of sediment to the river; the Northeast Heights did not experience significant flooding; and flood damage downtown was greatly reduced.

Today, more than 650,000 people live and work in the Albuquerque urban area. AMAFCA will continue to invest in flood control so future generations will have the maximum level of protection from the effects of flooding through fiscally responsible flood control actions, and multi-use facilities that complement and enhance the beauty of our city.

"Keep The Rio Grand" Photo Contest
Submit your Rio Grande photos to KeepTheRioGrand.org
- Deadline October 30, 2013
Storm Water Team web banner ad

The Mid Rio Grande Stormwater Quality Team (website: KeepTheRioGrand.org) is having a photo contest through the end of October, 2013. Submit your photos and/or stories about the Rio Grande and what it means to you, to the website. The first 50 submissions will receive a prize pack of a Scoop the Poop pack - a convenient and stylish way to help "Scoop the Poop." If your photo is used on the website, you will receive a photo credit for photos used.

The contest is to celebrate the re-launching of their website with a whole new look and feel. See the news release for more information.

AMAFCA is a partner in the Mid Rio Grande Stormwater Quality Team.

Southwest Valley Flood Reduction Project Public Meeting
Rio Grande High School Auditorium
- October 2, 2013, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

AMAFCA is working wtih Bernalillo County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others to reduce flooding in the Southwest Valley, as a part of the ongoing Southwest Valley Flood Reduction Project.

A public meeting to discuss Phases 2A, 2B, and 2C of the project and gain your input will be held on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Rio Grande High School Auditorium, 23011 Arenal Rd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105. See the postcard invitation for further information about the public meeting, including a project map and description.

For more information about the project, call Jeffrey Willis, 884-2215.

State Fair Parade
AMAFCA float honored 50 years of flood control
- September 14, 2013

Once again, and in honor of AMAFCA's 50th Anniversary, AMAFCA had a float in the State Fair Parade on Saturday morning, September 14, 2013. In honor of our creation in 1963, AMAFCA was assigned float number 63. The parade route followed Central from Louisiana to just west of Eubank.

State Fair Parade 2013 - 1

State Fair Parade 2013 - 2

State Fair Parade 2013 - 3

Notice of Quorum.

AMAFCA Provides Sandbags to Community
Crew Fills 3,000 Sandbags, Provides 6,000 Empty Bags and 15 CY Dirt
- July 29, 2013
  • AMAFCA filled sandbags over the weekendIn response to heavy rains on Friday, July 26, the AMAFCA crew gave the Albuquerque Fire Department 6,000 empty sandbags, 2,000 filled sandbags, and 15 cubic yards of dirt on Saturday, July 27.
  • Filled sandbags stockpiled at the fire departmentOn Sunday, July 28, 2013, the AMAFCA crew gave the Albuquerque Fire Department another 1,000 filled sandbags.
  • AMAFCA crew helps load sandbagsThe sandbags were handed out to local citizens to help them protect their homes from runoff.

 

 

 

AMAFCA Collaborates on NEA Our Town Project
"Water" Theme Ties In With AMAFCA's Purpose
- July 18, 2013

The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) is pleased to announce that its collaboration with the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services Department, Bernalillo County, UNM School of Architecture and Planning, Littleglobe, and Story of Place has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by the award of an "Our Town" grant in the amount of $150,000, announced July 17, 2013 in Washington DC.

The theme of Albuquerque's NEA "Our Town" public art project is "water" – and the project will tie in with historic Route 66/Central Avenue. The site for the project is yet to be selected.

AMAFCA supported the project from the very beginning of the application process. AMAFCA has collaborated in the past with Bernalillo County and the University of New Mexico in the design and construction of the Sanchez Farm Detention Pond in 2004. The project incorporated ecology, water quality, public spaces and a hands-on learning center for traditional farming techniques as part of the flood control project.

Recently AMAFCA collaborated with the City of Albuquerque to design and construct the Hahn Arroyo Phase I Project. The Hahn Arroyo Project went beyond flood control to incorporate other elements such as stormwater quality and low impact development and sustainability all showcased in a public space with the addition of public art to emphasize the community’s interrelationship to rainfall, stormwater quality and the wildlife in and around the Bosque.

"The Authority plans, designs, constructs, and maintains flood control and stormwater quality facilities within Albuquerque," said AMAFCA Board Chairman Tim Eichenberg. "The NEA Our Town Project will allow a unique opportunity to use art as an educational tool to help educate the public that the health of the Rio Grande and the community is directly related to the health of the surrounding urban watershed and to Albuquerque’s past, present and future."

AMAFCA is committed to stormwater quality and protecting our precious water resources in the arid Southwest. For more information, see the press release.

The public art component of the Hahn Arroyo Phase I, a collaborative project between AMAFCA and the City of Albuquerque.

July 8, 2013 Westside Storm Fills Amole Dam
Storm drops more than 2 inches of rain in some areas
- July 9, 2013

See story below photos.

  • The Amole Dam in its normally-empty stateThe dam is 33 feet deep, measuring 2,000 feet long and 700 feet wide.

Due to Monday night’s rain event, which dropped more than 2 inches of rain in the Westgate area, the AMAFCA Amole Dam retained an estimated 400 acre feet of run-off water.

The Amole Dam is 2000 feet long, 700 feet wide, and 33 feet deep. This is the size of 25 Lobo football fields, including the end zones and team benches. After Monday night's storm, there was 27 feet of diverted water in the dam.

The AMAFCA Board of Directors would like to thank the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Distrist (MRGCD) and Bernalillo County for their cooperation and participation which allowed AMAFCA to slowly release those 400 acre feet of retained water into the MRGCD Arenal Canal and into the Los Padillas extension.

The water that is being released is cleaned of trash and debris through a water quality structure located in the bottom of the Amole Dam before being released into the Arenal Canal.The released water will be used for farm irrigation downstream of the Amole Dam.  

By retaining the rain that fell Monday night, the Amole Dam protected an estimated six square miles of residential and commercial properties from more intense flooding that occurred in the area.  

Additional coverage: KOB, KOAT, KRQE

June 27, 2013 Declared "AMAFCA Day"
Bernalillo County Commissioners Commemorate AMAFCA's 50th Anniversary
- June 12, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE – June 12, 2013 – The Bernalillo County Board of County Commissioners have declared June 27, 2013 to be "AMAFCA Day" in honor of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority's 50th Anniversary.

AMAFCA was created in 1963 by an act of the New Mexico State Legislature, with the mission to acquire, equip, maintain, and operate a flood control system for the benefit of the district and its inhabitants. AMAFCA's flood control system is also a "hidden treasure" for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, allowing for many other compatible uses such as regional parks, golf courses, little league and soccer fields, equestrian centers, multi-use trails, open space, and a hang glider landing area. AMAFCA maintains 109 facilities dedicated to improving storm water quality, and is a leader in arid southwest water quality.

AMAFCA has helped fund the University of New Mexico Hydraulics Laboratory since 1986, the Ditch and Water Safety Task Force since 1993, and the Storm Water Quality Team since 2004. AMAFCA's well-loved "tumbleweed snowman" along Interstate-40 every December has received national recognition.

“Bernalillo County and AMAFCA have a long history of working together to meet the Albuquerque area’s drainage needs,” said Tim Eichenberg, AMAFCA Board Chairman. "We look forward to another fifty years of cooperation between our two agencies."

In its proclamation, the Board of County Commissioners noted that AMAFCA and Bernalillo County have been cooperative partners on many projects over the years.

Bernalillo County's coverage of this event is at http://www.bernco.gov/news/177839/. Video of the event: June 11, 2013 Meeting Video (click on agenda item 5b, below the video window, then back up the slider to approximately 9:14).

See the press release for more information.

AMAFCA Celebrates 50th Birthday in 2013
- March 22, 2013

AMAFCA was created by the New Mexico State Legislature under the Arroyo Flood Control Act of 1963. Its purpose is to prevent injury or loss of life and to eliminate or minimize property damage from stormwater runoff in the greater Albuquerque area. AMAFCA does this by building and maintaining flood control structures, which help alleviate flooding.

AMAFCA has grown considerably over the years, yet remains a small and efficient agency. In 1963, the AMAFCA staff consisted of three people. Today, it is just twenty-two people strong. Half of that force is the maintenance crew, which services AMAFCA's $186.7 Million of infrastructure, including thirty-seven miles of lined channels, twenty-nine miles of improved channels, ten miles of underground drainage improvements, twenty dams, forty-four ponds, and 108 water quality structures.

To remain small and efficient, AMAFCA partners with area engineers and contractors to design and build its projects. It also partners with other public agencies and with local developers to cost-share projects.

In 1963, the focus was on getting the stormwater runoff to the Rio Grande as rapidly as possible with little regard to the aesthetics of the project or the water quality of the runoff. In 2013, projects like the Hahn Arroyo Rehabilitation Project and the award-winning Hahn Arroyo Water Quality Structure set new standards for how urban drainage corridors are rehabilitated, not only in the Albuquerque metropolitan area, but throughout the country.

The flood control system is a hidden treasure that allows for many other compatible uses, including regional parks, golf courses, little league fields, soccer fields, equestrian centers, multi-use trails, open space, a hang glider landing area, and balloon take-offs and landings during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

AMAFCA is also a leader in arid southwest water quality planning and implementation, and since 1986 has helped fund the hydraulics laboratory at the University of New Mexico. AMAFCA's tumbleweed snowman along Interstate 40 is a holiday tradition for hundreds of thousands of people, and has received national recognition in several publications.

AMAFCA's multi-disciplined approach to planning and design of public projects has been made with the full and complete understanding of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of its projects, with a priority to return tax dollars to the taxpayers by providing the greatest benefit for all residents of Albuquerque.

Today, after 50 years, AMAFCA still maintains its mission of protecting life and property in the greater Albuquerque area.

Click on the news story's headline to read the story.

Rock Blasting Operations to Begin on Boca Negra Detention Dam Project
- March 18, 2013

The Boca Negra Dam has been redesigned by AMAFCA to minimize the amount of basalt rock to be removed. Rock blasting work although minimized is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 and run through mid 2013. The actual dates and times for this work are coordinated and approved by the Albuquerque Fire Department and will be posted by AMAFCA once approval is obtained. See the project page or this information sheet for more information, including contact information if you have any questions about this operation.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Administrative Order CWA-06-2012-1848 closed
- February 5, 2013

AMAFCA received a letter on February 5th from EPA Region 6 acknowledging that the Administrative Order was closed. No other action is anticipated.

Tim Eichenberg Re-Elected Chair of AMAFCA Board of Directors for 2013
- January 25, 2013

Tim Eichenberg was re-elected Chairman of the Board of Directors at the January 24, 2013 Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) board meeting. Chairman Eichenberg is serving his fourth term on the board, and has been on the board since 1994.

At that same meeting, Danny Hernandez (on the Board since 1999) was re-elected as Vice Chairman, Bruce M. Thomson (serving since 2011) was re-elected as Secretary-Treasurer, and Ronald D. Brown (on the Board since 1989) was re-elected as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer.

The officers will serve until the January 2014 Board meeting, when the officers for 2014 will be elected.

Water Quality? I Thought It Was A Cheese Grater
- December 18, 2012

An article written by AMAFCA Executive Engineer Jerry M. Lovato and former AMAFCA Storm Water Quality Engineer Kevin Daggett about the South Diversion Channel I-25 Baffle Chute Stormwater Qualtiy Facility was published in the January-February 2013 issue of Stormwater Magazine. The online version of the article was posted on December 18, 2012 and is available here.

AMAFCA Tumbleweed Snowman, 2012 version
- November 28, 2012, updated December 20, 2012

The 2012 AMAFCA Tumbleweed Snowman was erected on November 27, 2012. Photos of him are available here. The 2012 snowman was the largest ever, at over 13 feet tall!

Due to heavy winds on the afternoon of December 19, 2012, the snowman was temporarily removed as a precaution. He was reinstalled alongside the freeway the following afternoon, standing on a larger platform for greater stability.

Board of Directors Election, Bond Election
- November 7, 2012

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, there was a Director Election in AMAFCA Districts 3 and 4. The incumbents, Tim Eichenberg (District 3) and Ronald D. Brown (District 4) won re-election to their seats with 100% of the votes in their respective districts.

AMAFCA also had a bond question on the ballot. The bond question passed with 68.15% voting "yes." The final vote tally as of 1:12 a.m. election night was 155,847 for and 72,828 against.

Officials Travel to Dallas for Clean Water
USEPA Region 6 Request Face to Face to Discuss Administrative Orders
- November 1, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE – November 1, 2012 – Representatives from AMAFCA, the City of Albuquerque, and EXPO New Mexico will be meeting with Officials from USEPA Region 6 in Dallas Texas, on Friday November 2nd to discuss ongoing administrative orders concerning alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. 

USEPA Region 6 requested the meeting to get additional information which will help EPA decide how to proceed with the six administrative orders that have been issued to date concerning potential discharges from EXPO New Mexico. 

Director Hernandez stated, “I am encouraged that EPA is requesting input from the three agencies. It is important that the City, State and AMAFCA work together to improve water quality in the fairgrounds area.”  To fully understand the plans and goals of the three agencies, the AMAFCA Board held a special Board Meeting on October 3rd with all of the parties. The discussion focused on an immediate solution for EXPO New Mexico and the possibility of working together on an ultimate solution that would require extensive cooperation from all the agencies to provide flood protection and water quality east of Louisiana to San Pedro north to I-40.

See the press release for more information.

 

September 27, 2012 Bond Sale - 2010 Authorization
New Record-Low Interest Rate Saves Taxpayers Money
- September 28, 2012

AMAFCA held a bond sale on September 27, 2012, the second from the 2010 Bond Authorization. In spite of the bond rating downgrade of the federal government, AMAFCA was able to maintain its natural double-AAA bond rating from Moody's and Standard and Poor's. This led to a phenomenally low interest rate of 0.84%, which will save taxpayers money, making more funds available for projects in the community. This interest rate was about a third of a percentage point lower than the previous record low interest rate from the September 2011 bond sale. The bond proceeds will be used for AMAFCA's capital program that will include several cost-sharing projects with the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Corps of Engineers.

AMAFCA Maintains Highest Bond Rating Possible
Natural Double-AAA Bond Rating Saves Taxpayers Money
- September 24, 2012

For the sixth Bond Sale in a row, AMAFCA received a "natural double-AAA" rating, the highest rating possible, by maintaining its AAA rating from Standard & Poors and Aaa rating from Moody's, in 2012. These bond ratings save taxpayers money by keeping bond interest rates low. Less money spent on interest also means more money is available for project development and construction - money that goes directly into the Albuquerque economy.

The September 27, 2012 Bond Sale will be the second from the 2010 Bond Authorization.

Bond proceeds from this sale will be used for AMAFCA's capital program that will include cost-sharing projects with the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Corps of Engineers.

See the press release for more information.

AMAFCA Urges Awareness of the Dangers of Monsoon Season 
Flash Flooding can be dangerous
- June 14, 2012

The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) urges caution in and around the area's arroyos, ditches, and channels as we enter Monsoon Season (June 15th through September 30th). Changes in New Mexico's typical weather pattern can lead to sudden intense thunderstorms that can often put the population at risk for serious injury or death. Since 1959, 65 New Mexicans have lost their lives in flash floods statewide. For fatalities where information is available, 66% of them occurred in a car.

Flash floods usually occur within six hours of heavy rainfall and are normally the most dangerous of floods. Even when there is blue sky overhead, a dry arroyo may suddenly fill with water if there has been a storm upstream.

To keep yourself safe, stay informed of weather forecasts and warnings for severe weather storm conditions, both in your area and in the surrounding area. When the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a flash flood watch, it means that conditions are favorable for thunderstorms to occur which may lead to flash floods. Exercise caution and do not enter arroyos if thunderclouds are visible in your area or upstream. Watch for signs of rising water, and be prepared to flee to higher ground on a moment's notice.

If the NWS issues a flash flood warning, it means that a flash flood is occurring or is imminent. Get out of the danger zone by moving to higher ground immediately. Don't waste time trying to save personal property. Do not cross rain-swollen arroyos, channels, or streams. Act quickly, as your margin of safety may be counted in seconds. Do not walk or wade into the arroyo – as little as six inches of rapidly moving water can sweep you off your feet and carry you downstream.

Above all, do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. The depth of the water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped. Even one foot of fast-moving water can wash your car off the road and into the arroyo. As the NWS urges, "Turn Around, Don't Drown."

See the press release for more information.

Board of Directors Election, Bond Election

- November 7, 2012

There was a Director Election in District 3 and District 4 at the general election on November 6, 2012. The candidates were: District 3 - Tim Eichenberg (incumbent); District 4 - Ronald D. Brown (incumbent). Español: NOTIFICACION DE LA CONVOCACION DE ELECCION Y LA PROCLAMACION DE LOS DIRECTORES DE LA AUTORIDAD DE CONTROL DE INUNDACIONES DE LOS ARROYOS METROPOLITANOS DE ALBUQUERQUE

Nominating petitions were due at the AMAFCA office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

There also was a bond question on the ballot.

District 3 map 

District 3 covers roughly the Near Northeast Heights and Midtown. The eastern limit of District 3 is the Cibola National Forest, the southern limit is generally Constitution Avenue, Carlisle, I-25, and Menaul. The western limit is generally 4th Avenue, extending slightly to the west between Candelaria and Montano. The northern limit is Osuna until about San Pedro, where it follows Academy Road to Wyoming, then along Spain Road to Tramway, where it jogs slightly south to follow the Bear Canyon Arroyo up to the Cibola National Forest. See map for details.

District 4 map

 

District 4 covers roughly the Far Northeast Heights, the North Valley, and a portion of the far north of the Westside. The eastern limit of District 4 is the Cibola National Forest, the southern limit is the Bear Canyon Arroyo to Tramway to Spain to Wyoming to Academy to about San Pedro to Osuna to 4th, where it jogs south to Candelaria. The western limit is the river to Montano to roughly Golf Course Road to McMahon to Unser to the Calabacillas Arroyo to Atrisco, with a jog at Paradise Boulevard. The northern limit is the Bernalillo/Sandoval County line. See map for details.

AMAFCA Board Meeting Continued
- May 24, 2012

The May 24, 2012 AMAFCA Board meeting was recessed at 1:46 p.m. and reconvened at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, to pass the FY2013 budget.

Hahn Arroyo Rehabilitation - Documentary on the Public Art Component
- May 14, 2012

A public art talk at the Erna Fergusson Library on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. featured the Hahn Arroyo Public Art Documentary "Rain to River", about 20 minutes long, which debuted at the meeting. The video is now running on GOV-TV. It is also available for viewing on the City's Public Art page.

The public art project, created as a part of the Hahn Arroyo Rehabilitation Project, was submitted as Albuquerque's entry in the national Public Art Network Year in Review Award for 2012.

For more information on the Hahn Arroyo Rehabilitation Project, see the project page.

Black Mesa Phase 1a Pipe Extension Project - Public Meeting
- April 24, 2012

AMAFCA is working hard to address flooding, water quality, and drainage management issues in the south valley. For this phase of the Black Mesa project, a pipe alignment along the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Gun Club Lateral was chosen to minimize the impact to the traveling public and to minimize interruptions in water, sewer, and gas service to residents in the south valley. Once completed, the project will allow numerous flood plains to be removed and will address flooding along Coors Boulevard. A public meeting will be held on Monday, May 7, 2012, at the Los Padillas Community Center, 2117 Los Padillas Road SW, Albuquerque, NM, to gain your input. See the postcard invitation, or the project page on our website, for further information.

AMAFCA Project Receives Award
South Diversion Channel I-25 Baffle Chute Storm Water Quality Facility Honored
- March 3, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE – MARCH 3, 2012 - The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) received the 2011 Small Project of the Year Award from the Albuquerque Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers (NMSPE) for its South Diversion Channel I-25 Baffle Chute Storm Water Quality Facility. The award was announced at the Annual NMSPE Albuquerque Chapter Engineering Week Luncheon on February 24, 2012.

The South Diversion Channel I-25 Baffle Chute Drop Structure is a large concrete structure built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1970s. The structure was retrofitted in 2011 by AMAFCA to treat up to 1,200 cubic feet per second (cfs), or 0.6" of rain, by diverting up to 600 cfs around each side of the structure, passing it through Coanda screen galleries to filter trash and debris, and returning the filtered water to the channel. The self-cleaning screens are designed to separate the water from the trash and debris, which accumulates in roll-off dumpsters for easy disposal.

The retrofit also includes a settling forebay upstream of the drop structure to remove sediment from the water, and a storm water quality pond for secondary treatment of low flows in the South Diversion Channel. The pond provides extended detention and media filtration for effective chemical and bacterial removal.

Construction was completed in December at a total cost of $3,137,900.

The project will automatically compete for the same award at the state level. Those awards will be announced at a banquet in June.

AMAFCA Approves Redistricting Resolution
Westside will be represented by two Directors on the five Member Board
- February 24, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE – FEBRUARY 24, 2012 - The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) Board of Directors approved a resolution during its regular February Board Meeting that redefined the five member district boundaries in Albuquerque.  The adopted plan was finalized earlier this month ending a four-month process of public meetings that developed new boundaries to address population growth and population shifts within the AMAFCA boundaries. 

The AMAFCA Board of Directors’ understanding of the unique needs on the Westside of Albuquerque and potential growth areas in the southeast and southwest quadrants modified the boundaries such that the Westside of Albuquerque will be represented by two Directors, and the southeast quadrant will have one Director to represent their interests. 

The Board of Directors has given the Westside of Albuquerque a voice in flood control and water quality projects in Albuquerque since 2000, when they established one unique District that represented the entire Westside on the five Member Board.

Former Districts AMAFCA District Map     New Districts

(Full maps above are pdf files - you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it. Most computers come with this program already installed.)

See the press release for more information.

Tim Eichenberg Elected Chair of AMAFCA Board of Directors for 2012
- January 27, 2012

Tim Eichenberg was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors at the January 26, 2012 Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) board meeting. Chairman Eichenberg is serving his third term on the board, and has been on the board since 1994. See the press release for more information.

Director Thomson on Conference Panel
- February 2, 2012

AMAFCA's Director Bruce Thomson is one of the Saturday morning panelists at the two-day "It's All About Water" conference in Albuquerque on February 10-11, 2012. This conference uses films and discussion to explore water issues in New Mexico, including:

  • What are the impacts of oil, gas, and uranium development on our water, air, and health?
  • Can New Mexico's water support its population, farming, and industrial needs?
  • Discussion and planning
  • The following short films will also be viewed during the conference:
    • "Natural Gas from Shales: Some Myths and Realities"
    • "Split Estate" (mineral rights and hydraulic fracturing aka "fracking")
    • "Tipping Point" (the truth about Canadian Tar Sands)
    • "Liquid Assets" (municipal water systems)
    • "American Southwest: are we running dry?"
    • "Water for the World Act of 2011"
    • "Tapped" (bottled water industry and privatization of water)
    • "Blue Gold" (international water issues and efforts to address problems)

See It's All About Water - Films and Converstion, the City of Albuquerque's write-up, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance's article, the University of New Mexico's notice, or the event flyer for more information about the free conference.

2011 AMAFCA Snowman
- December 6, 2011

Version one of the 2011 AMAFCA snowman was installed on Tuesday, November 29, but had to be temporarily taken down on Thursday, December 1, due to extremely high winds. He was reinstalled on December 6, after the winds had died down. Pictures of version two of the 2011 snowman are here and here. Notice that the second snowman was prepared for high winds!

Bond Sales - 2010 Authorization
- September 15, 2011

AMAFCA held a bond sale on September 15, 2011, the first from the 2010 Bond Authorization. In spite of the recent bond rating downgrade of the federal government, AMAFCA was able to maintain its natural double-AAA bond rating from Moody's and Standard and Poor's. This led to a record low interest rate of 1.16%, which will save taxpayers money. This interest rate was about a half of a percentage point lower than the previous record low interest rate from the September 2010 bond sale. The bond proceeds will be used for AMAFCA's capital program that will include several cost-sharing projects with the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Corps of Engineers.

Hahn Arroyo Rehabilitation Project Ribbon Cutting
- December 5, 2011

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the conclusion of Phase I of the Hahn Arroyo Rehabilitation Project on December 3, 2011. The ceremony was held at the new pocket park at the Hahn Arroyo and San Pedro. See the invitation for further information.

Redistricting
- February 23, 2012

AMAFCA quickly and harmoneously completed the redistricting required by the 2010 census in February 2012. Following an initial public comment period, Special Board meetings on redistricting were held in January and February, 2012. The Board developed the new districts in those meetings. See the Redistricting tab of the Board page for more information.

East Amole Surge Pond Receives Public Partnership Award from the Mid-Region Council of Governments Board of Directors Annual Regional Excellence Awards
- August 13, 2011

AMAFCA's East Amole Surge Pond project received the Public Partnership Award from the Mid-Region Council of Governments Board of Directors Annual Regional Excellence Awards in 2011. This project saved taxpayers money by using dirt, excavated to build AMAFCA's surge pond, on the City of Albuquerque's Unser Expansion project and on the old Bernalillo County landfill, which needed a new dirt cap. The awards ceremony was held August 12, 2011, at the Albuquerque Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

AMAFCA Receives Award for Special Achievements in GIS
- July 2011

At the 2011 ESRI International Users Conference in San Diego, California, in July, AMAFCA received an award for special achievements in GIS from ESRI. AMAFCA's Interactive Facilities Map was selected from more than 100,000 other nominations from over 300,000 organizations worldwide for the award. The map has received national and international accolades, and has changed the way AMAFCA does business and interacts with the public.

Southeast Valley Drainage and Storm Water Quality Management Plan - Public Meeting
- April 20, 2011

AMAFCA and Bernalillo County are working together to study flooding in the Southeast Valley, and identify drainage corridors, ponding areas, and water quality treatment opportunities. A public meeting was held on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at the Mountain View Community Center, to gain your input. See the postcard invitation, or the project page on our website, for further information.

Cooperation Addresses Flooding at Two Schools
- October 21, 2010

AMAFCA, Bernalillo County, and the Albuquerque Public Schools are working together to address flooding in the South Valley. This article, jointly written by representatives of each agency, gives further details.

Board of Directors Election, Bond Authorization Election
- November 2, 2010

There was a Director Election in District 5 at the general election on November 2, 2010. The candidates were Bruce M. Thomson and John Doran. There was also a Bond Authorization Election on the ballot. The final results of the Director Election were Bruce M. Thomson, 11,945 (62.3%), John Doran, 7,240 (37.7%). The final results for the Bond Authorization Election were For, 106,159 (63.0%), and Against, 62,475 (37.0%).

Bruce Thomson was sworn in as the Director for District 5 during a Special Board Meeting on January 3, 2011, at 4:00 p.m.

AMAFCA would like to thank everyone for their support of our Bond Authorization Election. The funds from the bond sales will be used to design and construct flood control facilities throughout AMAFCA's boundaries, including water quality facilities and multi-use facilities. As these bonds will replace other bonds that have been paid off, your taxes will not be raised.

The Albuquerque Journal had an article on the candidates and the bond authorization on October 9, 2010. The Journal endorsement editorial from October 25, 2010 is posted here. A copy of the candidates' answers to the paper's standard questionnaire is posted here. A copy of the Bond Committee's advertisement in support of the Bond Authorization Election is posted here.

 

District 5 covers roughly the eastern part of Nob Hill, the Southeast Heights, and the southern portion of the Northeast Heights. The southern limit of District 5 is Kirtland Air Force Base, the eastern limit is Cibola National Forest, the northern limit is mostly along Indian School and Constitution, and the western limit is Carlisle Boulevard. See map for details.

Bond Sales - 2008 Authorization
- October 1, 2010

AMAFCA's final bond sale from the 2008 Bond Authorization, for $10 million in bonds, sold at a then-record low 1.634% to FirstSouthwest on September 30, 2010. This was, at the time, the lowest interest rate ever for an AMAFCA Bond Sale. The previous low rate had been 1.735% in 2009. AMAFCA's continued "natural double-AAA" bond rating and current market conditions lead to the extremely low interest rate, a significant savings for taxpayers. Press Release

AMAFCA's first bond sale from the 2008 Bond Authorization, for $10 million in bonds, sold at an extremely low 1.735% to Morgan Keegan & Company, on July 30, 2009. This was the then-lowest interest rate ever for an AMAFCA Bond Sale. The previous low rate had been 2.25% in 2003. AMAFCA's continued "natural double-AAA" bond rating and current market conditions lead to the extremely low interest rate, which will save taxpayers money.

AMAFCA's final bond sale from the 2006 Bond Authorization, for $9.75 million in bonds, sold at a very low 2.979924% to Morgan Keegan & Company on July 24, 2008. At that time, that was the lowest interest rate AMAFCA had received since 2003. AMAFCA's excellent bond rating in today's marketplace directly lead to the low interest rate at the sale, which will save taxpayers $56,000 over the next seven years.

Natural Double-AAA Bond Rating
- September 2010

For the fifth Bond Sale in a row, AMAFCA received a "natural double-AAA" rating, the highest rating possible, by maintaining its AAA rating from Standard & Poors and Aaa rating from Moody's, in 2010. These bond ratings save taxpayers money by keeping bond interest rates low.

2008 General Election
- November 5, 2008

Bernalillo County held a general election on November 4, 2008. Danny Hernandez (incumbent in District 1) and Daniel F. Lyon (incumbent in District 2) were both re-elected to the Board of Directors. They were sworn in on January 2, 2009.

AMAFCA also had a Bond Authorization on the ballot, which passed with over a 67% “yes” vote. We thank you for your support. AMAFCA intends to apply the $20 million for the continuation of our mission to "acquire, equip, maintain and operate a flood control system for the benefit of the Authority and the inhabitants thereof."

Award-Winning Tingley Park Surge Pond officially opens
- Summer 2008

AMAFCA paid $1,000,000 of the cost of lowering the award-winning Tingley Park Surge Pond in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque.

In 2007, the park was lowered four feet below the surrounding neighborhood to serve as a flood control facility during heavy rains. The park was further renovated with ball fields and playground equipment in 2008, and re-opened as a City of Albuquerque park in 2008.

Embudo Bike Trail Ribbon Cutting/Bridge Dedication
- April 24, 2008

Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, the AMAFCA Board, and family members of James Quinn were on hand for the dedication of the James Quinn Bridge on the Embudo Bike Trail, which crosses over the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel near I-40.

West I-40 Diversion Channel Ribbon Cutting
- October 31, 2006

AMAFCA’s award-winning West I-40 Diversion Channel had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony October 28, 2006. Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez and the AMAFCA Board were on hand for the ceremonies. The project includes 2.2 miles of bike trails and landscaping.

South Valley Flood Reduction Project Funding Passes House
- July 15, 2005

Congresswoman Heather Wilson spoke at AMAFCA’s McCoy Dam on Friday, July 15, 2005 to announce that the Water Resources Development Act, passed by the House the day before, contained funding for this joint project benefiting Albuquerque’s South Valley.

 

Click on photo to view full size photo. Mouseover to pause the slideshow. Date shown is date of photo (date of storm). Some photos available at higher resolution, by request.

  • Truck in the North Diversion Channel, June 23, 2009This truck was washed about four miles downstream, much of that way completely submerged. At its deepest, the water was 10' deep. This was only a 15-20 minute long storm. The occupants were able to escape the truck just before the portion of the journey where it was completely underwater.
  • Arroyo Rescue, North Diversion Channel, Jun 23, 2009This teen traveled about 5 or 6 miles in the rushing water before he was rescued. Notice the light bar of the submerged full size pickup truck behind him.
  • Embudo Channel, post-storm, June 23, 2009This construction lift was washed miles downstream during the storm on June 23, 2009. It wasn't raining where the men were working. All escaped without loss of life.
  • Embudo Channel, west of Carlisle, July 24, 2004Just west of Carlisle Boulevard, the Embudo Channel flow changes from supercritical flow to subcritical flow.
  • Embudo Channel,  west of Carlisle, July 23, 1992Typical storm flow in the Embudo Channel, west of Carlisle, just before it joins up with the North Diversion Channel.
  • Embudo Channel Chute, August 1981The Embudo Channel drops down a "chute" just west of Carlisle. This picture was taken in August 1981.
  • North Diversion Channel at the Hahn Arroyo, July 31, 1982This was what the North Diversion Channel looked like at its juncture with the Hahn Arroyo during a storm on July 31, 1982.
  • North Diversion Channel at the Menaul Bridge, undated stormThe North Diversion Channel conveyed a large amount of water as it passed the Menaul Bridge in this undated photo.
  • North Diversion Channel Outfall at the Railroad Bridge, August 12, 1982The North Diversion Channel Outfall conveyed 5500 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water at the Railroad Bridge in this August 12, 1982 storm.
  • North Diversion Outfall at the Railroad Bridge, July 14, 1990The North Diversion Channel Outfall conveyed 5800 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water at the Railroad Bridge in this July 14, 1990 storm.
  • North Diversion Channel, August 11, 1981The North Diversion Channel conveyed 1400 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water in this August 11, 1981 storm.
  • North Diversion Channel, August 11, 1981The North Diversion Channel conveyed 1400 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water at this point on the channel in the August 11, 1981 storm.
  • North Diversion Channel Storm Surge at Menaul, June 23, 2009Storm Surge, looking north in the North Diversion Channel on June 23, 2009. The water is 6" deep north of Menaul, about 5' deep south of Menaul, with the leading edge moving 20-30 miles an hour, with a force sufficient to wash full size pickup trucks and construction equipment downstream.
  • Hahn Arroyo, downstream of Carlisle Bridge, October 2002The Hahn Arroyo, just west of the Carlisle Bridge, in October 2002.
  • Car washed into Hahn Arroyo, July 22, 1982Before most of the city's "dip crossings" were converted to bridge crossings, cars were sometimes washed into the channel. This was captured on film during a storm on July 22, 1982.
  • Man attempting to save his car, Hahn Arroyo, July 22, 1982This man was attempting to keep his car from washing further downstream in a July 22, 1982 storm on the Hahn Arroyo. This is not recommended.
  • South Fork of the Hahn Arroyo, at Pennsylvania, August 1, 1982This is the South Fork of the Hahn Arroyo, at Pennsylvania, during a storm on August 1, 1982. It is unsafe to enter arroyos during storms.
  • South Fork of the Hahn Arroyo, west of Pennsylvania, August 1, 1982The South Fork of the Hahn Arroyo, west of Pennsylvania, during a storm on August 1, 1982.
  • South Fork of the Hahn Arroyo, west of Pennsylvania, August 1, 1982The South Fork of the Hahn Arroyo, west of Pennsylvania, during a storm on August 1, 1982.
  • I-40 Eumbudo Channel at Louisiana, July 31, 1982The I-40 Embudo Channel sometimes conveys large quantities of water. This was during a storm late in the day on July 31, 1982.
  • I-40 Embudo Channel looking east, near Winrock Mall, 6 p.m. on August 12, 1981The I-40 Embudo Channel conveyed a large amount of water during this August 12, 1981 storm.
  • I-25 box culverts at the La Cueva Channel, July 12, 2004The La Cueva Channel passes under Interstate 25 via a triple box culvert. This storm was July 12, 2004.
  • La Cueva Channel at I-25, July 12, 2004Water spashes as it enters the box culverts under I-25, on the La Cueva Arroyo. This storm occured July 12, 2004
  • Calabacillas Arroyo, west of Coors, July 29, 1988The Calabacillas Arroyo, west of Coors, in a storm in 1988.
  • La Cueva Arroyo, west of Louisiana, July 12, 2004The La Cueva Arroyo experienced a hydraulic jump at the pipe penetration west of Louisiana during the July 12, 2004 storm.
  • North Albuquerque Acres at Elena Drive, after a storm in July 1991Stormwaters surged through the Terry residence on Elena Drive in North Albuquerque Acres in a storm in July 1991.
  • South Pino Arroyo west of HolbrookThis undated photograph shows the South Pino Arroyo, west of Holbrook, during a storm.
  • South Diversion Channel Baffle Chute, July 23, 2004The "shark teeth" in the South Diversion Channel Baffle Chute, which are meant to slow down the water similar to boulders in a stream, were completely covered by water in this July 23, 2004 storm
  • South Valley flood on July 31, 1974This car was half-covered by water in the July 31, 1974 storm.
  • South Valley maiboxes, July 31, 1974The storm of July 31, 1974 partially submerged these South Valley mailboxes.
  • Arenal and Coors, July 31, 1974The July 31, 1974 storm in the South Valley undercut and collapsed the intersection of Arenal and Coors, closing the road until repairs could be made.
  • South Valley, July 31, 1974This family worked hard to keep floodwaters out of their home in the South Valley on July 31, 1974.