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Kirtland AFB easement to ease area flooding

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Kirtland Air Force Base will move its fence back and donate an easement to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority for a $1 million, 47-acre drainage facility to alleviate flooding in nearby neighborhoods and on base.

The facility will be located on a site at the southeast corner of Gibson Boulevard and Louisiana Boulevard, and will detain water in a pond there, where it will slowly drain into the city’s existing storm drain system.

“It’s going to solve a problem for us and for residents to the northwest of us,” said Kirtland Air Force Base spokesman Jim Fisher. “During heavy storms, in past years, the runoff has overwhelmed the drainage system on base and even, to a certain extent, off base.”

Jerry Lovato, AMAFCA executive engineer, said the nearly $1 million project could remove as many as 900 lots from an existing floodplain.

The facility is intended to withstand flows of a 100-year flooding event, he said.

Currently, Lovato said, “a good rain starts to cause a little bit of a problem.”

Water draining off the base occasionally floods Gibson and Louisiana boulevards, and southeast Ridgecrest Drive, and overflows into the yards of surrounding homes in the Siesta Hills, Parkland Hills and Southeast Heights neighborhoods, depositing mud along the way.

Kirtland’s fence line will be moved back to accommodate the facility.

Construction is expected to take around seven months, Lovato said.

The construction is not expected to greatly affect those in the area, but there may be heavier traffic while the project is underway, Lovato said.

The project is being funded by AMAFCA and the city.

“I’m really happy with what the base is doing,” said Peter Stromberg, member of the Siesta Hills Neighborhood Association.

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