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8:15am — Village of Magdalena Runs Out of Water

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Weekend pump failure leads to loss of water supply for about 1,000 residents early this week.

The failure of a pump at the Trujillo well station over the weekend caused water taps to dry up early this week in the village of Magdalena, El Defensor Chieftain in Socorro reported.

Mayor James Wolfe told a Board of Trustees meeting on Monday that insulation had worn off a wire at the pump, causing it to short out, El Defensor Chieftain said.

But the village of about 1,000 residents didn’t feel the effects until Monday as water pressure dwindled to a trickle, and Marshal Larry Cearley, the village’s public safety chief, ordered the closure of Magdalena School on Tuesday, the paper reported.


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“Apparently it’s been out since Saturday,” said Cearley. “The tanks have a supply for three days, and the water is running out now.”

But while the tanks were running dry, village offices were flooded with phone calls, El Defensor Chieftain said.

“We had two people answering phones all day when the water pressure was going down,” Mayor Wolfe told the paper, estimating that office workers fielded between 70 and 80 calls on Monday.

Word spread quickly through town, and there was a rush for water at local stores, while city officials ordered a new pump that had to be shipped from Missouri to Albuquerque, then taken to Magdalena on Tuesday, El Defensor Chieftain said.

Meanwhile, more than 1,300 bottles of water from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Los Lunas and some 300 bottles of Gatorade “from our stash” were brought in to the Magdalena fire station, emergency personnel told the paper.

And village resident Richard Smith drove in a tanker truck full of potable water from the Stallion Range south of San Antonio, El Defensor Chieftain said.

Water was rationed at the fire station at two 20-ounce bottles per person every four hours, and water was delivered to the elderly and homebound, Cearley told the paper.

The mayor said Tuesday it would take another 24 hours or so for water pressure to be built up so normal service could be fully restored, the paper reported.

The well where the pump failed Saturday is one of four wells capable of serving the village, but two of the wells are currently inactive and another one is need of a pump, which is expected to be installed this summer, Cearley told El Defensor Chieftain.