Heavy rains cause sink hole on South First Street

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Transportation crews were working Monday to repair a 4 1/2 foot deep sink hole on South First Street.

Three days of heavy rains caused a 5 foot by 7 foot section at the intersection of South First Street and West Gamble Avenue to collapse, according to Christina Romero, public information officer for the state Department of Transportation.

Traffic along First Street is to be diverted to Second Street. Work is expected to be completed Wednesday or Thursday, Romero said.

There were 2.62 inches of rain reported at the Tucumcari Municipal Airport from Friday through Sunday, according to meteorologist Brent Wachter of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

A large portion — 1.72 inches — fell Saturday.

The NWS issued a flash flood watch on Monday afternoon for Quay County, Wachter said.

“It is still possible for parts of Quay County to see additional rain fall,” Wachter said.

The weekend rains in Quay County were the result of the combination of two storm systems, Wachter said.

A surface cold front initially moved into eastern New Mexico on Thursday, which set the stage for the extended weather, Wachter said.

Upper low systems came in behind the surface cold front and the combination of the two produced the heavy rain.

The upper low system has moved into western Texas, but there is still enough of the system in Quay County to produce heavy rain, Wachter said.

Wachter said that this type of storm system is unusual for Quay County this time of year.

Wachter said this type upper low system usually forms in the spring or fall, Wachter said.

The NWS issued a tornado watch for Quay County on Sunday night.

No tornadoes were reported in Quay County, Wachter said.

There were reports of two tornadoes touching down in De Baca County, Wachter said.

The first reported touch down was at 7:20 p.m. Sunday seven miles north of Sumner Lake. The second report was at 7:21 p.m. 12 miles north of Fort Sumner, according to Wachter said.

“The second tornado was reported to be active till 7:47 p.m.,” Wachter said. “The tornado could have gone back into the clouds and touch down several times as the storm systems was moving.”

Rain fall totals reported from Tucumcari Municipal Airport
Friday . 82
Sat 1.72 inches
Sun .08