People in Eddy County spend day cleaning up after powerful storms

New Mexico

Strong storms left their mark in southeastern New Mexico, with one resident finding an unwelcome and unexpected guest in her front yard.

It was the last thing Monica Martinez of Loving expected to see when she looked out her window Monday night.

“I just heard this big pow, and I was like, ‘Is that thunder?’” said Martinez. “I didn’t know what it was. At first I thought it was the Loving water tower. Crazy, but that’s what I thought, and I was like, ‘What is that?'”

It was a gigantic cylinder tank she says came from a local business across the street, damaging her family’s cars in the driveway.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to roll over it, it’s going to monster truck it,’” said Martinez.

Wind gusts hit up to 75 mph in the Carlsbad area.

“I mean we see it there, we pass by it every day, but never did I think that would fly anywhere, must’ve been empty thank God,” said Martinez.

Over on Duarte Road in Malaga, crews spent the day working to repair more than a half dozen snapped power poles.

About a half-mile down the street at Eric Rios’ house, cleanup was also underway.

“This morning when we were out walking around, there was — no joke — probably 100, 150 birds that were dead on the ground,” said Rios.

He also discovered trees splintered and shingles loose on the house.

“The time the storm hit, the rain was coming like at a sideways type of rain. It wasn’t coming straight down. You couldn’t even see three feet in front of you,” he said. “We lost our trampoline, patio furniture. I mean anything that wasn’t nailed down is pretty well gone right now.”

His neighbors’ carport roof is gone and nearly their whole tractor barn was found in the horses’ pasture.

Powerful wind wasn’t the only thing to impact residents. Overflowing water from arroyos have closed Dark Canyon and Hidalgo roads until further notice.

Firefighters were also busy overnight putting out a string of tank battery fires in the oil fields caused by lightning.

No injuries were reported.

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