West Texas family killed in flash flood and landslide in New Mexico
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – A family in Hale County, Texas is grieving after three family members were killed in flash flooding in New Mexico on Thursday, July 21.
Jane Cummings, 62, of Hale Center, and her mother, Betty Greenhaw, 84, of Cotton Center, were found dead in Tecolote Creek near Las Vegas.
The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the deaths Friday but did not release the names of the victims. On Monday, Cummings’ daughter Michelle Post confirmed that her mother and grandmother died in the flooding and her father, Chris Cummings, 62, was missing. Chris’ body was found on July 26, 2022.
Post says his family has a cabin in Tecolote Canyon on the Camp Blue Haven property. She says her family had been warned of a flash flood because of burn scars from the Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon fire, but never thought something like this could happen, or happen too quick. She says the flood destroyed the cabin within minutes.
The National Weather Service issued a flood alert on Thursday, warning that thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall over the Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon burn scar in Mora County and San Miguel County could lead to flash flooding. localized.
Greg Greenhaw, Betty’s son, says their family cabin had already been flooded to a low level with minimal damage, and they prepared for the flooding by placing sandbags, but they did not expect eight feet of water rushing into the cabin.
Post says his parents and grandmother were the only people in the cabin at the time, “their favorite place in the world”, spending time with their family.
She says there is a family that lives about 100 meters up the mountain. A man there told her he heard the water coming in, turned around and the water had already covered the entire front door. Greenhaw says the flood washed away two walls and half of two other walls.
The family says Camp Blue Haven staff were the first to hear of the flooding and began searching for the family. They found Greenhaw’s truck about half a mile up the road.
They originally thought the family might have been inside the truck and got out, but the truck doors were locked. They then found Jane about two miles from Blue Haven Camp and four miles from the cabin.
Betty was found about half a mile from the cabin. Chris’ truck was found buried outside the cabin. Post says investigators have kept her updated on the search for her father.
Post says the cabin has been a vacation and vacation home for his family for more than 60 years. In 1965, Greg’s grandmother signed a 100-year lease, when Camp Blue Haven began leasing lots to help fund the camp. Post says all of his cousins were baptized at camp and his son was there for camp just two weeks ago.
Greg says that between the two canyons there were about 60 cabins. He says about 25 of them burned in the Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon fire.
Part of the family is in New Mexico, now gathering business. Post is in Plainview, where she and her family live. She says her family is lost, broken and doesn’t know what to do.
She says she is grateful to her community for coming for her family.
She says there are people in Plainview, Hale Center, Lockney and New Mexico all supporting them right now. She says her church family and her son’s teachers at Plainview Christian Academy have all stepped up to deliver meals and help them through this time.
She ended the conversation with the words, “God is good.”
Greenhaw says the Blue Haven community has been very supportive, tracing their families, gathering their belongings and checking in constantly.
Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.
Comments are closed.