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ABQ firefighters rescues 2 swept away in flood channels

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque firefighters rescued two people swept away in flood channels after heavy rains hit parts of the city late Saturday afternoon.

One man was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital with hypothermia and bumps and bruises after crews used ropes to pull him from the North Diversion Channel at the Menaul crossing, according to Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

Firefighters had spotted the man at the Washington bridge over the channel.

“Crews gave him instructions, but he decided to walk out and was swept away,” an AFR spokesman said.

The second person was rescued from a box arroyo near Four Hills.

AFR initially reported searching for a third person, but said late Saturday “it appears there may have only been two.”

“There were several calls to the alarm room reporting victims and there may have been confusion to the number of people in the arroyos due to duplicate calls,” a spokesman said.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque said the scattered thunderstorms that moved through Bernalillo County and Rio Rancho were part of the monsoons.

About .64 of an inch of rain fell at the Albuquerque International Sunport as of about 9 p.m. Saturday, according to the Weather Service, and locations in Rio Rancho reported close to 1 inch.

Meteorologist Andrew Church said the storms hit Albuquerque around 6:30 p.m. and continued to dump heavy rain on and off for a few hours.

He said minor flooding in streets and small streams occurred.

“The rain came down heavy but the soil absorbed most of it,” Church said.