New Mexico summer brings record-setting rainfall

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Only a week into monsoon season and multiple parts of the state are under water. The question is, with some already flooding and more rain on the way, can the state handle it?

In some cases, the record rainfall is helping, but in others, all of that rain is creating a safety hazard.

Wednesday afternoon, Santa Fe saw hail nearly the size of ping pong balls. The extra rain made for wet and difficult driving conditions.

Even after the storm, public safety aids directed traffic, and shut down part of Alameda as crews worked cleanup.

“In the aftermath there’s still a lot of water out here, there’s a lot of debris on the roads,” said Lieutenant Andrea Dobyns, Santa Fe Police Department.

Sky News 13 showed some roads under water in Torrance county.

In the metro area, rainfall set daily records this week. “Around 80 percent of what we normally get the entire year, we’ve received to date,” explained Shawn Bennett, Meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

At the National Weather Service Albuquerque office, it’s all hands on deck.

“Our priority number one is to save lives,” said Bennett.

The weather service monitors state traffic cameras, and tracks the storms. Weather alerts are sent out around the state.

Albuquerque got nearly two inches of rain Tuesday alone.

“We’re definitely going to be above average this year,” said Bennett.

“The last couple nights we have had crews out around the clock, so we’ve had people out, we had people on standby,” said Wilfred Gallegos, Director for the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development.

“There have been some trouble areas, but that’s kind of normal,” said Gallegos.

Flat lands and arroyos can fill up very quickly, but Gallegos said the city’s systems are working well so far.

“The duration of the storms have been long enough that it’s allowed some of our systems to catch up with it,” Gallegos explained.

All of this water is helping water conservation, and the state’s drought conditions. The current drought map shows eastern New Mexico in the clear, which is a big improvement from this time last year.

The city says it will keep crews on standby Wednesday night to clear streets of debris if needed for more expected rain. Rain the rest of the week is expected to be widespread.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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