Taft Hansen, an Internet associate at Webb Chevrolet, looks into a ditch next to Webb Chevrolet after rains caused flash flooding on Tuesday in Farmington.
Taft Hansen, an Internet associate at Webb Chevrolet, looks into a ditch next to Webb Chevrolet after rains caused flash flooding on Tuesday in Farmington. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Storms pounded Farmington on Monday and Tuesday, and more storms are forecast through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Farmington received .67 inches of rain by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Arroyos flooded, and rain raced through streets and neighborhoods.

Several cars crashed or stalled while trying to drive through standing water Tuesday afternoon, said Farmington police Sgt. Dave Monfils.

Tuesday's storms followed an evening of storms on Monday.

On Monday, Farmington was hit by a storm between 4 and 5 p.m. and another between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., said Todd Shoemake, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

A total of .59 inches of rain was reported at the Four Corners Regional Airport by 8 p.m. Monday. There was as much as 1.18 inches of rainfall reported three miles northeast of Farmington city limits, Shoemake said.

More than 150 lightning strikes crashed across Farmington skies between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m. Monday, he said.

The heavy rains carried debris into Farmington streets and private properties.

Several streets and intersections -- including parts of Main Street from Sullivan Avenue to 20th Street -- were closed Tuesday afternoon because of the rains, police said.

"The debris that's being brought in by heavy rains is our biggest issue," said Jeff Smaka, Farmington's public works director.

Twenty-seven public works employees worked quickly on Tuesday to clear the streets of debris, Smaka said.

There was little damage reported to public property because of the storms, he said.

A 20-foot diversion wall near the intersection of Peace Valley and Hubbard roads was the only city property that was damaged in the storms. The diversion wall is used to direct a natural arroyo that cuts through the neighborhood. The wall cracked under the pressure of the water during the storms on Monday.

On Tuesday, as the arroyo raged, stones and other debris could be heard colliding into the cement as they drifted toward the river.

"I looked out and saw water and sticks washing down the road, and I was scared my fifth wheel was going to float away," said Marry Harris, who lives on Gold Avenue near the damaged diversion wall. "I've never seen water go over the roads like that."

Monfils said there was a significant amount of water and debris that washed onto Main Street at Tucker Avenue, Cliffside Drive and Villa View Drive, as well as other places in the city. There was also a ditch full of water racing down the south side of Main Street around Cliffside Drive.

Police stayed busy during the rain. Between 1 and 4 p.m. Tuesday, Farmington police responded to 70 calls for service. The calls were to report debris on the road, flooding, crashes and other weather-related issues, Monfils said.

Monfils said people should try to stay inside and off the roads during storms like those on Tuesday.

"If you don't have to drive in this weather, don't drive," he said. "If you can, stay in one place ... The weather in this area clears up pretty quickly."

Monfils also said drivers should slow down if there is water running into the streets and should not cross standing water that washes over roads. Several cars stalled on Tuesday when attempted to cross water in the street.

Members of the Farmington Fire Department push a vehicle on Tuesday near the intersection of Scott and West Broadway avenues in Farmington.
Members of the Farmington Fire Department push a vehicle on Tuesday near the intersection of Scott and West Broadway avenues in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and rboetel@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.