Elephant Butte Inn and Spa

NM Centennial -Weathering the Storm

Compared with the tornado ravaged Midwest, the earthquake- and tsunami- prone West Coast and the hurricane battered Gulf, New Mexico has been dealt a pretty fair hand when it comes to natural disasters.

San Marcial Flood of 1929: This was the last flood the village of San Marcial, south of Socorro, could take.  Previous floods had devastated this stretch of river but the 1929 flood wiped out San Marcial.

The old village at its peak had more than 1,000 residents, a Harvey House hotel, a railroad yard and farms.  The town had been destroyed in 1866 and rebuilt.  Flooding struck again in 1920 and 1921.

On August 10,11,and 12 of 1929, heavy rains in Socorro County swelled the Rio Grande River.  By August 12, the river had spilled its banks at San Acacia and flowed toward Socorro.

The flood destroyed crops and homes, and San Marcial was never repaired or repopulated.

Another round of heavy rains at the end of September caused the river to spill over its banks and flood the town again.  That flood destroyed railroad tracks and the road that led to and from the town.  The waters couldn't drain, and stayed stagnant over the winter according to historical reports.

More "Weathering the Storm" later.

Thanks to  "New Mexico, 100 Years of Statehood" published by the Albuquerque Journal for this information.

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