Wind storm does damage at Elephant Butte

Posted at: 07/02/2013 6:44 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It didn’t matter how many tires you piled on the roof.

Monday night’s windstorm that struck Elephant Butte Lake was a mean little twister determined to play can-opener among the RVs and tents along the shoreline.

Flipper Visits Elephant Butte. From Chopper 4 we saw a tough truck equipped with some stout straps pulling RV’s back onto their Goodyears. Several RVs and tents were strewn over the beach this morning hours after the storm struck.

Butte-goers tell us it swept around the lake about 7 p.m., a vicious vortex of sand-blasting desert wind.

“We turned around,” said Isaiah Sedillos. “We saw a funnel. It was pretty big already. It wasn’t mega-size, but it was a big funnel.”

“And she came around and I’d say within 30 or 40 minutes it was raining,” said Clifton David. “I was in my trailer and it was rocking and rolling like I’ve never been in one before. The hail started coming and it was hitting the door. Rain – like I said – horizontal!”

“A horizontal sheet of water,” agreed Mason Welles. “Felt like a hurricane. Sustained for about 20 minutes. Probably dumped an inch or two of rain. I know the lake went up over a foot just since last night from all the runoff.”

The Butte sure could use the water. In this drought it’s a mere half-pint of its former glory. Nobody was injured in the storm that reminds us again just how volatile New Mexico weather can get. One place you don’t want to be in a situation like that is out on the water. It looks like boat-people saw it coming and had time to get on shore.