Serving the High Plains

Hail, flooding cause widespread damage

Daylight on Friday showed the widespread damage from a severe hailstorm and heavy rain that caused flooding late Thursday.

The Tucumcari Convention Center, and the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce building both were closed indefinitely after hailstones broke through and allowed water from torrential rains to pour into those buildings.

In the convention center's case, hailstones broke four skylights. The center's accompanying New Mexico Route 66 Museum also was closed due to several inches of water in portions of the building.

Tucumcari Police Chief Patti Lopez said she received reports of 4 to 5 inches of rain falling during the storm Thursday night. She said water was 18 inches deep on some streets, and the standing water stranded a few motorists on Friday morning.

Regarding the hailstorm, stones the size of a golf ball and larger banged against parked cars, roofs and windows for at least 15 minutes. The hail was so voluminous, the ground appeared to be covered with snow.

“There's all sort of damage all over the place,” she said.

Lopez said the city also closed Tucumcari Memorial Park cemetery because of the danger of sinkholes. She anticipated Memorial Day ceremonies scheduled for Monday would be canceled.

Lopez said Tucumcari Memorial Golf Course also was damaged by the storm.

We'll have more in the next edition of the Quay County Sun.