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A Visit to the Laja and San Damian River Areas

By Jesús Aguado

The damages caused by the rainfall in San Miguel were not as severe as those caused in Comonfort and Celaya, where floods occurred in several communities of these municipalities due to the release of water from the Ignacio Allende Dam.

Atención paid a visit to the Rio Laja by the road of La Cieneguita, where the causeway collapsed and the crossing will be closed for the next three months. The bridge connecting Cieneguita and the town of Banda was closed by the Civil Protection Department; however it is open for residents of the area and even some public transportation. The responsibility to fix it is now with the state government, since that area is a state road.

Some local businesses in the affected area suffered from the rising waters. The gardens of Finca la Devoción in Atotonilco as well as of Casa de Aves were flooded, and some events were cancelled there.

Despite the Ignacio Allende Dam being at its maximum capacity level, water from the río Laja was pouring in at a rate of 280 cubic meters a minute, and so dam officials drained the dam to lower the water levels and protect the residential areas around the dam. The Civil Protection Department recommended that people not get close to streams or rivers, due to the strong current, however onlookers were seen doing just that, getting close to the river and to the dam’s parapet outside the federally-owned area to watch the water flowing and take photos and videos.

The flow of the Rio San Damián, located between rural communities like Tierra Blanca and Espejo, also caused damage. The two communities are connected by a hanging pedestrian bridge. However the water flows partially damaged one of the foundations of the bridge and it now has to be certified as safe by Civil Protection before it can be used. In Cruz del Palmar, the river overflowed and flooded backyards of at least ten houses. According to people there, the water was within five centimeters of reaching the level of the building.

However, not all affected residents were so concerned: during our visit to Cruz del Palmar, regardless of the strong current, two men were swimming.


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