Heavy rains flood Albuquerque streets, Alamogordo

August 2, 2014 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A deluge of rain flooded downtown Albuquerque and led to stranded residents needing rescue, authorities said Saturday.

Fire crews aided several people late Friday night who were stranded in their cars because of street flooding in Albuquerque.

Heavy rains between 9 and 11 p.m. caused the flash flooding and road closures in parts of downtown and other areas, according to weather officials.

Crews found multiple vehicles stuck in flood waters, including one that was completely submerged, the fire department said.

Firefighters helped several people to safety, including a couple stranded on the hood of their vehicle, the department said. No [auth] serious injuries were reported.

Rain also forced the New Mexico Rail Runner Express to shut down part of its train service Saturday. A bridge used by the trains near Budaghers, about 30 miles north of Albuquerque, was washed out overnight. As a result, Rail Runner was suspending service further north to Santa Fe on Saturday. Only trains going between Belen and Bernalillo will continue to operate.

Amanda Martin, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said downtown Albuquerque bore the brunt of the monsoon weather and received nearly 3 inches of rain Friday night. Martin said the Albuquerque airport broke a record in receiving a little over an inch of rain — the most in a 24-hour period for that spot. The previous record was set in 1993.

In the southern part of the state, Alamogordo was hit with storms and flooding on Friday. At least 25 homes and one business were reported to be affected by flooding, Alamogordo police said.

According to the National Weather Service, Alamogordo took in between 1 and 1 1/2 inches of rain by Friday afternoon and a flash-flood watch was in effect until Sunday morning.

Some roads still remained closed Saturday because of water levels. The mayor’s office announced that sandbags were available at the city maintenance yard for residents, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.

A flash flood watch for the western and southwestern parts of the state is in effect until late Saturday night.

Albuquerque residents, meanwhile, can expect more rain Saturday as well as possible flash flooding. Martin said despite the flooding issues, a surge of moisture like this is good for drought-stricken New Mexico.

“Granted a deluge of rain all at once is not great, (but) we’re getting water,” Martin said. “It helps out with the drought and it has definitely been making a dent in our drought conditions.”

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