About 300 people were evacuated from homes, campgrounds and a recreational vehicle park Sunday and a helicopter was sent to rescue others after flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Dolly.
Meteorologists said more than 15 centimeters of rain fell in the mountainous area, and flash flood watches were in effect for central and eastern New Mexico.
The Rio Ruidoso went over its banks about midnight, said Tom Schafer, Ruidoso's emergency management coordinator.
"Water's just going everywhere," Schafer said.
A police helicopter was sent to rescue people reported to be standing on buildings and vehicles, state Department of Public Safety spokesman Peter Olson said. A dive team was also sent to rescue people from the flooded areas, he said.