Heavy rain clobbered Chaves County Tuesday morning, leading to road and school closures and leading to the issuance of a flood warning set to remain in effect through Wednesday for the Pecos River below Acme.
The rain coupled with lightning was the result of remnants of Tropical Storm Narda, which traveled north from Mexico, according to Annette Morky, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
By late Tuesday, what was left of Narda had moved north into the Great Plains and Midwestern regions, she said.
In all, the storm left 4.29 inches of rain, according to measurements at the Roswell Air Center. The resultant downpours led to road closures both in and outside of Roswell.
At least five vehicle accidents were reported within Roswell between 6:38 a.m. and 10:44 a.m. Tuesday, none resulting in injuries. Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the Roswell Police Department though stated he could not say if any of the accidents were related to weather conditions.
The day began with several streets in the southeast section of Roswell shut down, with most reopened by 12:30 p.m. when the train had tapered off, according to Wildermuth.
A post Tuesday morning on the city of Roswell’s official Facebook page stated that East Poe Street, from South Grand Avenue to South East Main Street, had been closed, as had South Atkinson Avenue from East Poe to East McGaffey Streets.
The dangers presented by the rain also closed off access to the main dumpsite of the Roswell Municipal Landfill because conditions were deemed too hazardous for trucks to go through. Landfill staff worked to get mulch and rock placed so that the main dumpsite could be accessed.
However, by 1 p.m. it was announced on the city’s Facebook page that the main dumpsite would continue to be closed until sometime Wednesday afternoon.
Beyond the city, Chaves County communities south of Roswell had to contend with waterlogged streets and some flooding that made roads impassable and unsafe.
Bill Williams, public services director for Chaves County, said that county road workers had patrolled low river crossings and roads, to ensure people did not travel down roads where conditions were too serious.
He said Chaves County Road Department employees took to the streets Monday at about midnight to ensure that roads with copious amounts of water were closed if they had running water, extreme water depths or water crossings.
“The county only closed roads that had water that was actively flowing in them. So if a road was just flooded, they didn’t try to close it,” Williams said.
He said that as of late afternoon Tuesday Vineyard, Old Chisum and Anasazi Roads remain closed due to high waters.
Morgan, Lincoln, Cherokee and Shoshoni Roads were still closed at the Felix River crossings.
Jackson Road west of State Road 2 and the section of Spence Road from Navajo Road to Jackson Road were closed due to high flows at the low-water crossing.
Lincoln Avenue from Darby Road south to Dexter was also closed for a time, but was reopened when waters subsided, Williams said.
The conditions also led to the cancellation of classes Tuesday at schools in Dexter, Hagerman and Lake Arthur.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.