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Storms damage nearly 30 homes in Columbus, N.M.

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Jul 25 2013 12:28:31 AM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 10:36:53 PM CST

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

Homes in the village of Columbus, N.M. were pummeled by rain and heavy winds on Tuesday.

Tuesday's storm ripped through almost 30 homes.

"It was really devastating, really shocking because I've never been through that," said Eugene Sierra, a resident of Columbus.

"When I got here there were trailers flipped over, roofs taken out, it was pretty intense," said Robert Gomez, another Columbus resident.

Heavy rain and strong winds damaged 28 homes. For a few, all that's left are pieces.

"I don't understand what happened. The winds must have been strong because this trailer was big and weighed a lot. The winds tore it to pieces. There's nothing left," said Columbus resident Camelia Gonzalez.

Others have walls, but no roofs.

"I was in the living room. I saw the kitchen, the ceiling collapse in the kitchen. It was a lot of dust," said Scott Lawson.

Lawson was inside his home when the storm hit. He said he felt like his life was in danger.

For the small border town in Southern New Mexico, the damage is devastating.

"Columbus is a poor town. The other people who lost their homes probably have no recourse. It's doubtful they have insurance. It's doubtful they have any money to replace their homes," said Columbus Mayor Nicole Lawson.

Village officials are working with the state and county to get help for those who need it.

In the meantime, neighbors are pulling together to help each other.

"If we were not a close-knit community they would have nothing," Nicole Lawson said.

Officials report there were no injuries from the storm.

Officials are asking anyone with damage to report it by calling 575-531-2663 extension 23. 

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