PNT Photo: Kevin Wilson
Several drivers ignored a warning of a road closure at W. 18th St. Tuesday afternoon. The street was one of several filled with water due to Tuesday's constant rain.
The rain filled several of Portales’ streets from curb to curb, closed down roads and slowed down traffic, but many Portales citizens treasured the rain the community received throughout the day and night.
As of 7 p.m., the rain total for the day was at 2.25 inches, according to estimates from the KENW Broadcast Center at Eastern New Mexico University.
Larry Ahlstrom said all this rain was unique. His friend, Jack Scott, a retired football coach from ENMU, said he was enjoying the wet weather, but hopes it will dry up before ENMU has its homecoming this weekend.
No serious accidents were reported in the late afternoon, but the few that did happen could have been attributed to the weather.
“We’ve had a few things and most of them have been weather-related,” Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said. “All of the intersections that have been low have maintained a lot of water. If you go fast, you’re going to be in a lot of water.”
Three intersections, in general, were flooded througout the day — 17th St. and S. Ave. B, 18th St. and S. Ave. D and Third St. and Kilgore Ave.
The flooded roads did not seem to have a negative affect on hard hit businesses where water run-off filled the streets.
Mark Foster, owner of Southside Storage on 18th St., said he opened for business, but later closed thinking the weather would deter customers.
“We had to reopen because people kept calling us,” Foster said. “The weather hasn’t slown down business, it’s still business as usual.”
While picking up her daughter at Steiner Elementary, Lauren Purcell said she loved the rain.
“I’ll take whatever we can get,” she said. “Our water table needs it.” Purcell felt the rain would benefit everyone in the end.
Jason Sledz, 19, said the flooding was bad for peanut and cotton farmers. For him, though, the only negative effects was that he had to carry around an umbrella.
For those in the community that had to endure the effects of the rain, it posed as a challenge.
Dickie Shearer, owner of Shearer School Busses for the public schools, said the rain has been an act of God, but for school buses the rural roads can be tricky due to muddy condition and a higher possibility of getting stuck.
“We will attempt to run every route, but if the roads are too bad then we’ll bring the kids back to town and call their parents,” said Shearer.
The rain did affect many schools. Dora Schools canceled classes for today due to flooded roads. Eastern canceled classes from 5 p.m. on, but anticipated having classes this morning. A debate scheduled for Tuesday between the College Republicans and College Democrats of ENMU has been postponed until a later date.
A junior high concert set for Tuesday night has been moved to 5 p.m. today.
The U.S. Postal Service has a motto that rain shall not keep postal carriers from their appointed rounds, but local offices are having troubles with water-filled roads.
LeaAnne Johnson, supervisor of customer services said when roads are underwater, postal drivers are encouraged to come back and try again the following day. “We have been successful at delivering the mail within the county, but have had difficulty when delivering to the rural areas due to washout roads,” she said.
PNT Managing Editor Kevin Wilson contributed to this report.