ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Albuquerque Zoo is closed to the public Saturday, but behind the scenes, it is all-hands-on-deck as workers clean up after what they say is the most devastating storm they have ever seen.
The storm uprooted trees and caused a couple minor injuries to some people who were at the zoo for the summer concert series Friday night.
Powerful wind, rain and hail quickly turned a fun summer concert at the zoo into a danger zone at about 7:30 p.m.
"I have never imagined anything like this happening in Albuquerque," said Rick Janser, director of the ABQ BioPark.
People scattered, leaving belongings behind as huge tree limbs came crashing down.
Typically 2,000 people pack the area for the summer concerts.
Janser said one concert-goer suffered a head injury and another was hit on the nose by falling debris.
Linda Sandusky Coursey says she left to get an umbrella for her 78-year-old aunt on an oxygen tank but couldn't find her or her friend when she went back in.
"It started hailing and raining and still thunder and lightning," Sandusky Coursey said. "Every group that was under shelter, I stopped at to see if they were there. They weren't there."
The zoo looked more like a construction site Saturday. The storm tore an entire tree onto the zoo fence, ripped down power lines and flooded animal exhibits.
The flooding also affected some company vehicles. One van was stuck so deep in the mud, it required towing to get it out.
"We are looking at the exhibits real close to make sure there are no breaches in the perimeter fences," Janser said.
He said the animals are safe and accounted for.
As for the visitors, Sandusky Coursey did eventually find her aunt, who had to abandon her oxygen tank to take shelter. She said she's doing well.
"She was just like, ‘That was such an adventure,'" Sandusky Coursey said of her aunt. "She didn't get much sleep last night, but she is okay."
The aquarium at the BioPark was open Saturday but the zoo and the Botanic Gardens remained closed.
Workers aimed to have them back open Sunday.
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