ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The downpours and flash flooding that hit all around New Mexico on Friday were but an "appetizer" for what may happen for the rest of the weekend.
- UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Flash flood warning until 8:15 p.m. for parts of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties. Very heavy rain reported from storm about nine miles north of Los Alamos and slowly moving southwest. Warning area includes Santa Clara Canyon, Los Alamos, Las Conchas Fire burn scar and eastern portion of Valles Caldera National Preserve. Dangerous flooding, rockslides, mudslides and debris flows likely.
- UPDATE 3:45 p.m: Flash flood warning through 6 p.m. for southern Santa Fe County. Nearly stationary thunderstorm near Stanley producing very heavy rain. Flooding expected on County Road 26 near Hyer Draw and other arroyos. (This warning expired at 6 p.m. although runoff was expected to continue for some time.
Both the National Weather Service and Bernalillo County emergency managers are warning of additional strong and slow-moving storms dropping rain by the bucket and filling streets, arroyos and flood-control channels.
"The flash flooding observed Friday afternoon within the Santa Fe and Albuquerque metro areas essentially served as an appetizer for the flooding potential through this weekend," said a statement released late Saturday morning by the Bernalillo County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "A deeply saturated atmosphere and very weak steering flow expected over the weekend will set the stage for slow moving thunderstorms to produce areas of torrential rainfall."
In addition the weather service issued a flash-flood watch through 10 p.m. Sunday for much of the state saying the flood potential is heightened in areas already soaked from Friday's rain and those below wildfire burn scars from this and recent fire seasons.
Early Saturday morning a man believed to be in his late teens drowned in a water-filled canal in Los Lunas and drowned although the circumstances remain unclear and under investigation.
The storms that hit Santa Fe and blasted through Albuquerque Friday brought back memories of monsoon seasons of the past before the state fell into the grip of the ongoing drought.
Drivers dealt with the newly formed river once known as Wyoming Boulevard, and at Kirtland Air Force Base a housing area turned into lakefront property.
As a Kmart in the Northeast Heights was shutting down, part of the roof came crashing in. No injuries were reported.
Los Altos Golf Course off interstate 40 and Eubank Boulevard NE had more water than a lot of courses in Florida.
The heaviest rains in the metro area fell along and west of the Sandia Mountains foothills. Rainfall totals logged by the weather service and its trained spotters included"
- 1.8 inches near Eubank NE and Lomas
- 1.5-1.7 inches at several locations in the Northeast Heights
- 0.46 inches near San Antonio NE and Louisiana
- 0.25 inches near Montano NW and Unser
- 0.22 inches at Isleta Pueblo
Elsewhere around the state:
- 2.0-2.22 inches at two sites in Lamy
- 1.29 inches at Raton
- 1.24 inches at Clayton
- 1.04 inches at Shady Brook in Taos County
- 0.98 inches at La Cueva in the Jemez Mountains
- 0.88 inches at Cañoncito in Rio Arriba County
- 0.75-0.87 inches at three locations in Placitas
- 0.71 inches at Pecos
- 0.56 inches at Angel Fire
In addition a wind gust of 55 mph was recorded at the weather service office at the Albuquerque Sunport (where 0.21 inches of rain fell) with a 50 mph gust at Wyoming NW and Paseo del Norte.
And when the rain comes down hard, water comes down the mountain even harder.
The arroyos and diversion channels were humming with drivers on i-40 at Louisiana Boulevard witnessing a geyser as a bridge pylon in the nearly full flood channel in the median split the roaring runoff.
The Albuquerque Fire Department reported rushing water swept away a man in an arroyo near Winrock Mall although he got out on his own saving rescue crews the tricky job of trying to pull him out at the usual spot near i-40 and Carlisle.
The runoff funneling down the Tijeras River south of the Albuquerque Sunport also snared a pickup truck that was being held in place by lines attached to other trucks as shown in photos and video submitted to KRQE Report It! by Royce Vaughn (see second video attached to this story).
Then it was back to normal. Just ask this guy who wasn't about to let the flood at Los Altos get in the way of hitting a few balls.
Track weather watches and warnings in the KRQE.com Weather Alerts section.
If you're looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend, or if you just want to get into the holiday spirit yourself, head out the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
This is something I would have wanted to do as a kid during my winter break: Destination Moon Camp! Here to tell us all about this is Michelle Watkins with the Challenger Learning Center New Mexico.
Dinner rolls are a wonderful compliment to those holiday dishes, and shaping dough is quite easy.