Stevens: Rainy days always leave their mark


David Stevens

Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world.

Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were still alive.

Dr. Seuss’ “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” was hot off the press.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve had this much rain — Sept. 16, 1970, to be exact. That’s when the National Weather Service in Albuquerque reports Clovis received the last of 2.95 inches of rain in 48 hours.

Reports from NWS and KVII-TV, which has a weather station in Clovis, show our neighborhoods had anywhere from 1.8 inches to 3.27 inches between late Thursday night and early Saturday morning.

Elida, Bovina, Lazbuddie and Ranchvale all had more than 2 inches of moisture, KVII records show, and more rain was expected Saturday night.

Impressive, especially considering the rain total across most of the region was less than an inch for all of 2014 before Thursday night.

Best of all, the timing only delayed Cannon Air Force Base’s air show by two hours and did not impact the Thunderbirds’ Saturday afternoon aerial magic. We’ll root for precision air-show performances again today, from military personnel and Mother Nature.

For a little more perspective on how wet it’s been around here, Clovis’ official rainfall total for all of 1943 was 7.58 inches.

The city’s seen less than 10 inches of moisture in a year three times.

But the downpour this weekend is nothing compared to the 48 hours that ended July 8, 1960, when Clovis saw 6.01 inches of rain.

And that was nothing compared to the afternoon-evening of Sept. 6, 1957, when 5.26 inches of rain was blamed for the drowning deaths of 287 sparrows in Ralph Standefer’s yard at 2000 W. Seventh Street.

That storm was so bad a high school football game was postponed between Clovis and Muleshoe. The Wildcats’ home field behind Marshall Junior High was 6 feet under water; motor boats were seen puttering around the next morning.

There have been no boats spotted on area football fields so far this weekend, but it’s OK to dream.

David Stevens is editor for the Portales News-Tribune. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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