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BREAKING: Gallinas Rescue operation called off

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By The Staff

Heavy rain once again pelted Las Vegas and San Miguel County Sunday afternoon, and that was followed by a report to authorities that three 11 or 12 year old boys may have been swept away by the Gallinas River.

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A woman at the Mills Avenue Bridge reported that she thought the three boys fell into the river because they were there one moment and gone the next.

Word of the potential drownings spread like wildfire on Facebook and word of mouth, and people crowded around bridges trying to catch a glimpse of the unfolding drama.

State and city police, meanwhile, flocked to State Employees Credit Union where a command post was set up. Las Vegas/San Miguel Emergency Manager Dennis English placed the Santa Fe water rescue team on standby as officers and firefighters walked up and down the river with water rescue equipment looking for the boys.

About an hour later, two males in their late teens or early 20s emerged with their shirts off. The woman who reported the potential drowning confirmed that the two were the males she thought had fallen in.

Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said the males told authorities that they are runners and they took off their shirts and left them near the bridge to go for a run.

Montaño said the situation was “very dangerous for all city and fire staff.”

He urged people to stay away from the Gallinas River and areas where flooding is taking place because things could turn dangerous quickly.

On another note, the flooding continued Sunday with water once again inundating the Cinder Road area, once again leaving at least one vehicle submerged in water.

Authorities remained concerned about the situation because heavy rains were expected to last through the night.

The National Weather Service has been issuing emergency flash flood warnings to cell phone users in San Miguel County. The first warning was issued at 3:44 a.m. with another one issued Sunday afternoon.