Marc Schoder: PNT Staff Writer
Residents across Portales and other parts of New Mexico received an afternoon monsoon on Saturday as the vicinity received 1.93 inches as of 4 p.m. according to Cannon Air Force Base meteorologist James Kratzer.
Cannon Air Force Base did not have the rainfall numbers for Clovis but reported that CAFB received four-tenths of an inch as of 7 p.m.
“The intensity of this storm doesn’t surprise me,” Kratzer said. “It is very typical for this time of the year.”
Kratzer added that the storm, which started around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday had been some of the hardest rains seen in the area in the last few years.
The Weather Channel is predicting a 60 percent chance of precipitation in Portales on Sunday with scattered and isolated thunderstorms through Wednesday with highs in the low to upper 80s.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said the department closed 18th Street and other area roads around it.
“People still did drive around the roadblocks, which we can’t do anything about,” said Berry. “It is the person’s own liability.”
The Portales Fire Department responded to three different calls of motorists stranded in high waters.
“There were not any injuries,” said John Bridges from the Portales Fire Department. “(In this type of weather), people need to use better judgment and stay inside,” said Bridges.
Businesses had mixed effects. Cattle Baron General Manager Zac Tischhauser thought the road closures near the restaurant on S. Ave. D would slow down business, but said his customers proved otherwise.
“People have been braving the elements to come in,” Tischhauser said, “but I won’t know till later tonight how much it will affect the numbers.”
The rain made some delivery jobs a little more difficult.
“With 18th street flooded we were unable to deliver to that area,” said David Sandoval, manager of Pizza Hut in Portales. Sandoval added that one of the restaurant’s delivery drivers had a car stall out while making a delivery.
Other parts of New Mexico received similar rain fall as well. The National Weather Service reported 1.89 inches of rain fell in about three hours Friday at Deming’s airport.
Some streets were flooded and the roof of the Baca Funeral Chapel, owned by Deming Mayor Sam D. Baca, had collapsed. No one was inside at the time, and no other injuries were reported due to the flooding.
The roof above the chapel had collapsed from the weight of the rain. Wooden beams, ceiling panels, and light fixtures came crashing down on the rows of pews.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.