Outlying communities hit hardest by cluster of thunderstorms

By Mike Linn: CNJ NEWS EDITOR

A cluster of thunderstorms swept through Curry and Roosevelt counties Wednesday, dumping more rain in a few hours than had fallen in at least a month in some places.
Clovis received about a half an inch of rain and Portales received about .40 of an inch, according to unofficial reports.
Before Wednesday’s showers, Clovis hadn’t received half an inch of rain in the last 34 days combined.
But the heart of the storms skirted Clovis and Portales, dumping a majority of its precipitation in outlying communities.
The hardest rain fell in Southeastern Roosevelt County, where some areas received at least 2 inches, said Kerry Jones, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
“There’s been scattered, numerous storms throughout the eastern plains,” Jones said. “Pep, Dora, Milnesand — that whole area got drenched. Radar was estimating from 2 to 4 inches there.”
Wayne Victor, who lives in the Pep community about 35 miles south of Portales, said at 8:45 p.m. his rain gauge showed two inches of rain had fallen.
He said he received three good, hard 20-minute rains, along with some light hail.
“It’d let up, then it would come again, about three different times,” Victor said. “It’s nice. Even though it’s fast and there’s a lot of runoff it’s still great.”
Farwell received an inch of rain, and Jones said Ranchvale got hit harder than Clovis.
North of Clovis near Raton a law enforcement officer confirmed a tornado touched down.
“No damage was reported,” Jones said in describing the area as “very rural.”
In Portales, Jones said some areas did experience some flash flooding.
Yale Squibb, a master control operator at KENW-TV in south Portales, said the station’s rain gauge showed .40 of an inch at 8:45 p.m.
“Personally I don’t mind it, but I have two broken lawn mowers and I need to get them fixed to cut the weeds in my yard,” he said.
The forecast for today in eastern New Mexico calls for isolated showers and thunderstorms.