Heavy rains pound Portales area

Freedom Newspapers

Parts of Roosevelt County received up to 4 inches of rain Tuesday night, weather officials estimated, closing roads and leaving drivers with near zero visiblity at times.

A Roosevelt County Sheriff’s spokeswoman said no injuries were reported. But officials said parts of State Highways 88 and 206 south of Portales were closed and the county was under a flash flood warning at 10:15 p.m.

A National Weather Service spokesman said eastern New Mexico can expect a repeat performance tonight.

NWS reported Tuesday’s storm began moving into the region about 6:30 p.m. While parts of Curry County received only trace amounts, rainfall of 2 to 4 inches was recorded across central and northern Roosevelt County.

David Schiebe, a technician with the NWS in Albuquerque, said the heaviest rains were around Rogers south of Portales, where parts of State Highway 235 were under water.

“It’s been moving very slowly, actually nearly stationary,” Schiebe said. “It’s caused a lot of ponding over the roadways and some stranded vehicles.”

Kerry Jones, a forecaster for NWS, said an area two miles southwest of Portales reported half an inch of rain in 50 minutes. Some areas were hit harder. A three-hour total for Farwell, just across the New Mexico border in Texas, showed 2 to 2.5 inches of rain, Jones said.

Pea-size hail was also reported in the region.