Woman drowns after rain turns arroyos into raging rivers - Albuquerque Journal

Woman drowns after rain turns arroyos into raging rivers

A pedestrian tries to dodge the buckets of rain falling in Downtown Albuquerque Monday afternoon. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Monday afternoon’s thunderstorm turned the city’s diversion channels into raging rivers, sweeping up six people and killing one of them, according to a spokesman for the Albuquerque Fire Department.

The deceased, a woman, was recovered Monday evening from where the North Diversion Channel empties into the Rio Grande.

Lt. Tom Ruiz said around 3 p.m., shortly after the rain began to pelt the city, multiple people began calling 911 about people stuck in the arroyos.

“At that point AFD dispatched several crews and several resources to six different staging locations on the arroyos,” Ruiz said.

He said crews rescued one person near Eubank and Interstate 40, three others a little bit west, near Eubank and Lomas NE, and another was across town near Montgomery and Interstate 25.

Then, Ruiz said, the swift-water rescue team recovered a woman’s body from the North Diversion Outfall Sedimentation Basin near Roy and Second NW.

He did not identify the woman and said the Office of the Medical Investigator will confirm her cause of death, but they believe she drowned.

The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority reported Monday that the water was as high as 8 feet in places, and Ruiz said it can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour.

He said people get swept up in the arroyos every year, so all AFD personnel are trained on swift-water rescue techniques. Dozens of firefighters assisted with Monday’s rescues and recovery and three fire department trucks were at each staging location.

Ruiz said the people rescued from the arroyo were most likely already in there when the rain started and were caught off guard when the water began to rush down the steep-walled channels. He did not know their purpose for being in the channels.

“With the intensity and the speed to which this storm came in it was the very definition of a flash flood,” he said. “Which reminds us all that the arroyos are no place to live, no place to play, no place to be around anytime a storm comes through Albuquerque.”

Storm breaks ABQ’s dry spell


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
COVID hospitalizations most since first of year
ABQnews Seeker
Patients lashing out at health care ... Patients lashing out at health care workers over long wait times
2
Photo of gun in backpack stirs fears at La ...
ABQnews Seeker
Parents, students assail school stance on ... Parents, students assail school stance on matter
3
Operation Holiday Cheer: Send season's greetings to NM veterans
ABQnews Seeker
Let them know we appreciate their ... Let them know we appreciate their service for our country – or for caring for the home's residents
4
ACLU: Inquiry needed into BCSO shooting
ABQnews Seeker
Death of 18-year-old requires independent investigation, ... Death of 18-year-old requires independent investigation, group says
5
NM House advances new map for 70-seat chamber over ...
ABQnews Seeker
Map still has to be approved ... Map still has to be approved by the Senate and the governor in order to take
6
‘Disrespect’ a factor in fatal shooting
ABQnews Seeker
Detectives arrested a man accused of ... Detectives arrested a man accused of fatally shooting another man with not one, but two guns for disrespecting him last weekend at an apartment ...
7
Senator, Governor's Office escalate spending dispute
ABQnews Seeker
Sen. Jacob Candelaria accused of grandstanding ... Sen. Jacob Candelaria accused of grandstanding in court filing
8
APD: Videos show man pummeling infant son
ABQnews Seeker
Seen saying 'die' to child Seen saying 'die' to child
9
PNM-Avangrid merger rejected by PRC
ABQnews Seeker
Commission cites 'demonstrated record' of poor ... Commission cites 'demonstrated record' of poor behavior from companies