Serving the High Plains

Storms rack up millions in losses across our region

I almost forgot cattle could swim until I saw their feed lot under water in Hereford last weekend.

They weren't the only ones surprised to see so much water. We were all reminded why Running Water Draw northwest of Clovis has that name. And why Ned Houk Park needs a dam.

And if you really want to see the power Mother Nature unleashed on us, take a look at the video on the Quay County Sun's Facebook page -- a bridge under construction between San Jon and Endee was destroyed by flash flooding Friday.

That was some storm, or rather a series of storms, that bullied their way through eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle starting last Wednesday. Some places saw near 5 inches of rain over five days. We also saw -- or at least saw evidence of -- tennis-ball-size hail thrown around by 80-mph winds.

Thousands of area residents reported broken windows (in cars and homes), fences down, roofs that couldn't keep the rain out, and trees uprooted, killed by lightning or with broken branches littering the streets.

Looking back two decades, damages probably exceeded anything not connected to the tornado in 2007 or Goliath the snowstorm that hit just after Christmas in 2015.

Clovis Mayor Mike Morris, an insurance agent by day, estimated property owners are looking at repair costs north of $50 million -- and that's just in Clovis.

Thank goodness three confirmed tornadoes north of Broadview claimed no human casualties, though they body slammed irrigation equipment and spooked some critters.

Weather forecasters told us this would probably be a wetter year than the last few; something about a Little Boy pushing aside a Little Girl in the Pacific Ocean and creating warmer sea water. Whatever the reason, it's nice to break up the monotony of hot and dry ... but here's hoping the next wet spell won't be so expensive.

David Stevens is publisher of Clovis Media Inc. Email him at:

[email protected]

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