As soon as the rain hit the arroyos Monday afternoon, the Albuquerque Fire Department rushed to make it to each call.
Six people got swept away, and one of them didn’t make it.
AFD says it believes each person was already in the arroyo when the storm hit, and didn’t have enough time to make it out before they got swept away.
Firefighters were set up all over town, with gear out and radios in hand at six different locations along Albuquerque arroyos when the storm hit the metro.
“The people that we rescued were surprised by the quickness of how the water came through,” Lt. Tom Ruiz said.
At one point, firefighters had to use one of their ladders from the truck to rescue three people stuck down in an arroyo near Eubank and I-40.
“With the intensity and the speeds in which this storm came in, it was the very definition of a flash flood,” Ruiz said.
Within two hours, AFD says it had reports of six different people who were caught in the water from Montgomery and I-25 to the valley near Second Street and Roy Avenue.
Firefighters rescued five of them, but say one woman died in the rushing waters by the time they recovered her body.
“So this should remind us all that the arroyos are no place to live, no place to play and no place to be around when any type of storm comes through,” Ruiz said.
The woman who died has not been identified. AFD says it also isn’t sure exactly which arroyo the woman was in when she got swept away.