ABQ's West Side recovering after heavy rains

Posted at: 07/09/2013 6:11 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A lot of repair and rehab work is getting done now on Albuquerque’s West Side after Monday night’s torrential rainfall.

It was the classic monsoon pattern: some neighborhoods got slammed – some got a drizzle – and some were left high and dry. Much of the West Side was slam city on Monday night.

First, some good news. There is a huge rush of runoff water from the rainstorm going south to irrigate farmers’ fields drying out in the drought. Much of it comes from a flood control pond behind a dam in Westgate Heights. The water was about 27 feet deep Tuesday afternoon, collected from local rainfall of about two and a half inches. It’s about 400 acre-feet, and on the surface there is a sea of floating trash that will be filtered and hauled away.

“This was a pretty big storm,” said Albuquerque Metropolitan Flood Control Authority engineer Kurt Wagener. “This was one of the biggest fills we’ve had on any of our dams, so this is quite a lot of water in a short period of time.”

“We usually get a couple of feet and we’re thrilled about it,” said executive engineer Jerry lovato. “This is one of the highest dams we’ve ever filled in our history – and we’re fifty years old – so it is a kind of monumental day.”

Monumental for others, too – whose cars surfed into flooded potholes, who had to navigate streets with asphalt pried loose by rushing rainwater, for the guys driving those dozers to clear the roads.

Floodwaters did a similar slam-job on the Corrales Main Drain – a combo of sun-baked hot concrete suddenly flooded with tons of ice cold water. Time to repair those busted-up arroyo walls and prepare for the next big one!