ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Punishing rain whipped metro Albuquerque and other parts of the state Friday afternoon flooding streets and channels and collapsing the roof of a Kmart.
Albuquerque police also received a report of a man caught in runoff in a drainage ditch who was able to extricate himself. The man declined medical help and walked away, police said.
The National Weather Service issued the first of several flash-flood and severe-storm warnings shortly before 4 p.m. covering parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Torrance and Valencia counties.
The storm moved in from the north takings its time as it tracked southward along the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Flood-control channels filled with the channel in the middle of Interstate 40 launching a spectacular spray as runoff hit a concrete pylon supporting an overpass.
A corner of the roof of the Kmart at Montgomery NE and Eubank collapsed during the storm. Employees and customers evacuated the building, and there were no immediate reports of injuries.
Hail also was reported.
The storm system also affected eastern Bernalillo County and parts of Torrance and Valencia counties with as much as 1.5 inches of rain forecast. Communities west of the Manzano Mountains including Tome, Meadow Lake and Rio Communities were in the path of the storm.
The weather service also warned of dangerous lightning. Additional weather alerts spread from Alamogordo in the south to San Juan and McKinley counties in the northwest and Colfax County in the northeast.
At 9:30 p.m. the New Mexico Department of Transportation reported flooding on U.S. Highway 491 near Yah-ta-hey about 16 miles north of Gallup.
Radar indicated the storm system was only moving at 10 mph increasing the possibility of significant rainfall totals and heavy runoff in flood-control channels and other drainages.
By early evening the weather warnings around Albuquerque had expired although runoff continued.
Earlier in the afternoon heavy rain rumbling out of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains hits Santa Fe and spawned flooding in the area.
Track weather watches and warnings in the KRQE.com Weather Alerts section.
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