As rain passes, city bracing for more storms

By Tony Parra

City department employees cleaned up some of the mess made by the storm which left 2.72 inches of rain on Tuesday, but meteorologists say there’s another system on the way on Monday.
Jim Kratzer, meteorologist from Cannon Air Force Base, said 2.72 inches of rain was reported at CAFB, but said he lives two miles west of Portales his cage read at approximately 3.6 inches. Kratzer said the additional 2.72 inches brought the yearly total to 19.9 inches.
Kratzer said in wet seasons there is an average of approximately 30 inches, yearly. He said that is what happened in the late 1980s.
“We had a real nice summer, it wasn’t hot,” Kratzer said about the weather season. “This has been one of the best growing seasons. The rain started n March and it’s been raining all year long.”
Highway 267 was closed off for a period of time from Floyd to Melrose on Tuesday night because of flash-flooding. Portales Fire Marshal Mike Running said they did not have to respond to any major accidents or emergencies.
“Typically we respond to traffic accidents,” Running said about rainy weather. “It’s from sliders. Their brake pads are wet and they don’t allow enough of a stopping distance. Some of (the accidents happen) because they are going at a higher speed than they should be traveling, causing them to hydroplane.”
Tom Clark, county commissioner, said some milo fields in south of Portales in Roosevelt County suffered hail damage on Tuesday morning. Kratzer said there were small hail drifts on Tuesday morning causing areas four miles north of Portales on the CAFB highway. He said there was still some hail on the ground on Wednesday morning.
Tom Howell, public works director, said workers for the street department set up barricades on roads where the water was high, such as W. 18th St. He said there were two trees blown over and city employees had to remove them. Howell said one was removed from 8th Street and Chicago Avenue and the other from Elbe Street and Fargo Avenue.
“There was some degree of flooding on 18th, but you can’t completely block it off,” Howell said. “We set up some barricades, but for some residents it’s the only access to their homes. The barricades are really more for discouraging a lot of traffic.”
There is a chance of thunderstorms today and tomorrow with the rain stopping over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service Web site. Kratzer said residents are still in the middle of an active weather season. He said another “big system” is heading to the eastern New Mexico plains on Monday.
Kratzer said typically the rainy season ends in the middle of October, but this year it will extend into the beginning of November.