Rain on the way
link Derek Major: Staff photo
Portales can expect up to 3 inches of rain over the next 48 hours, National Weather Service officials said on Wednesday night.
The National Weather Service is warning New Mexico to watch out for flash flooding. But Roosevelt County is mostly just looking to enjoy the rain.
“We need this rain and I’m glad we’re getting it, especially with the drought we’ve been under for the last few years,” Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger said on Wednesday.
NWS is predicting 1 to 3 inches of rain in the Portales area over the next 48 hours, due to the effects of Tropical Storm Odile, which could dump up to 9 inches of rain in southern New Mexico.
While looking forward to the wet weather, Wattenbarger said city officials are also prepared for emergency.
“We know what streets will get flooded and we want to make sure if those roads start to flood people don’t get stranded,” he said.
“In this area, rain can come quick and do some real damage to cars.
“The (roads) that concern us the most are 18th street from Avenue D moving east bound, Third Street by the cemetery, the streets by the high school can get a bit dicey and (State Highway) 114 between Elida and Dora can get flooded a bit.”
The Portales area received about a quarter of an inch of rain by 6 p.m. on Wednesday and moisture was expected to continue falling through the night.
“Usually if the situation gets bad enough we shut roads down, and if it gets worse from there we’ll send out a mass notification,” he said.
“The bigger thing for us is when there’s a lot of straight line wind and hail and that ends up tearing roofs off (which is not forecast). We’ve been though periods of intense rain before, so this isn’t unusual.”