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City Jumps into Action to Support People Impacted by Extreme Weather and Prevent More Severe Flooding

Departments called in extra personnel to keep streets safe and get folks help they need.
June 30, 2024

The City of Albuquerque took swift action, recruiting extra support from a number of departments, to respond to heavy rain and flooding throughout the city and ensure the wellbeing of the residents of neighborhoods that were hit hard. Last night, Albuquerque took on 1.48 inches of water in less than 90 minutes. Average rainfall for this time of year is just 0.03 inches.  

“Our city experienced historic weather last night, and our hearts are with everyone who experienced any damage or was put in a dangerous situation,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We’re grateful that our departments jumped into action to keep people safe all over Albuquerque, and worked together with our partners to prevent more serious flooding in some of our city’s treasured historic neighborhoods.” 

The downtown area was one of the hardest hit, including Martinez Town and Barelas. The City built the Marble Arno Pump Station about two years ago to protect historic neighborhoods and avoid the types of devastating floods that the neighborhood has experienced as recently as a decade ago. Last night was the first time the pump station was used to this scale, and while it experienced some challenges due to power surges, it ultimately saved the surrounding neighborhood from more severe flooding.  

The facility is maintained by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority (ABCWA). Two of the four pumps were not functioning after an initial power surge, but together, the City and ABCWA were able to manually get the pumps back online to drain the neighborhood. For several hours before the pumps were restored, folks in the surrounding neighborhood had water up to their houses, but fortunately the pumps kicked in before extensive damage was done. The drainage pond, which is built to hold up to 78 acre-feet of water, was full last night, retaining water that otherwise would have spilled out and put the neighborhood underwater.  

Albuquerque Community Safety (ACS) responders were out in the neighborhood last night and today checking on residents, making sure they had food, water, and any other resources they needed.  

The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) responded to calls across Albuquerque, shutting down dangerous roads and assisting folks in need. AFR responded to 142 calls for service in just the four hour period between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. They typically respond to 260 calls every 24 hours. AFR conducted several operations, including assisting folks who were stranded in their cars, helping a group from an American Legion Post get to safety, and setting up patrols along arroyos to keep folks safe from flash flooding. 

The Department of Municipal Development (DMD) called in 11 extra personnel to assist all over the city with flooding, power outages, and street maintenance, using: 

  • 2 vector trucks to pump out storm drains 
  • 6 sweeper trucks to push water into sewers 
  • 4 pump trucks to get water out of ponding areas 
  • 2 scraper trucks to channel water 

DMD has gotten all traffic signals back online after outages last night, and is prioritizing the downtown area for street sweeping today. If folks have downed trees in their yard or residential area, they can report them to 311 by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, and Solid Waste crews will have them cleaned up by the middle of the week.  

Several City facilities were affected by minor flooding and water damage, but we do not expect it to interrupt operations or services. As potential for more rain continues, and we approach monsoon season, the City is prepared to keep folks safe and make sure services are delivered. If you or someone you know needs resources, please call 311 to get connected.