ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Fire Rescue crews have recovered the body of a second victim after spending hours searching for three people who were reportedly swept away in the arroyo Tuesday evening. They are still searching for a third victim but they say it is possible that person got out.
“There was of course one other person that was reported that was able to self extricate. Again, we’re not quite sure if that person was able to get out or not. So we will continue our recovery efforts until they are exhausted,” said Albuquerque Fire Rescue Spokesman Tom Ruiz.
During a news conference Wednesday, Ruiz said the first victim who was recovered is a male. That man has not been identified by his name or age yet. AFR says Wednesday afternoon that the body of the second man was found in the same area as the first victim.
Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, a strong, fast-moving storm sent water rushing down Albuquerque’s arroyos. Not long after, three victims were reported to be in the water going down Embudo Arroyo near Constitution and I-40.
Crews were able to spot one of the victims Wednesday through the use of a drone with the assistance of the Bernalillo County Fire Department. Crews are expected to continue to stay near the site of the recovery effort, near Fourth Street and Roy through Wednesday, searching the area on foot and by drone.
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“Sometimes these search and recovery efforts can take multiple days,” said Ruiz said, “So we will remain on site until all of those efforts have been exhausted.”
The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority says 100-square miles drains to the channel and on Tuesday evening water in the area was around four feet deep but at the height of the storm, it was close to 12 feet. “
“That is the highest I have seen this year,” said AMAFCA Field Engineer Nolan Bennett said Tuesday. “We see eight to 12-feet pretty commonly throughout the summer. Massive amount of water speeds down the channels carrying, unfortunately in this case, people.”