Flooding was a possibility as Eddy County was forecasted to receive monsoon rains through the beginning of next week.
With predictions of 50% to 80% chance of rains in the region, the Midland/Odessa station of the National Weather Service (NWS) said localized flooding could result from the increased rains.
Scattered thunderstorms were predicted for Friday night, as 80% chance of rain on Saturday may mean up to a half inch of rain falling on Carlsbad.
That trend may continue through Thursday of next week, with thunderstorms predicted everyday until then.
Eddy County Emergency Manager Jennifer Armendariz said her department has been in close contact with the NWS in preparation for any flooding events in Carlsbad.
“We’re watching Dark Canyon really closely just because the Guadalupes (Mountain National Park) seem like they’ve gotten quite a bit up there,” Armendariz said.
Armendariz said that whenever there is a possibility of flash flooding the County’s swift water rescue team is placed on standby, along with the additional emergency crews.
The public is reminded that rather than attempting to cross flooded roadways, motorists and pedestrians should turn back.
Sand is available at Eddy County volunteer fire stations to fill sandbags.
In a news release Friday, the National Weather Service issued a dire warning for other states in the Southwest, including Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Texas as storms reacting to tropical moisture created a possibility of flash flooding.
“This part of the country simply cannot handle rain pouring down at this rate,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis said.
Some tips for staying safe in hazardous weather.
- Avoid unnecessary travel during rainstorms and immediately after rainfall as roadways can be slick or, in some cases, flooded.
- Motorists should slow down and allow for more travel time when driving in wet weather.
- When coming to a stop, avoid slamming on brakes. Instead, slow down sooner and apply gentle brake pressure.
- Allow for greater distance between vehicles. Normal driving conditions recommend travelling at least two seconds behind vehicles. During wet weather and on slick roads, it is recommended to increase that distance.
- Give larger vehicles, like trucks and buses, more room for stops and turns.
- Avoid making sudden turns or lane changes.
- Drive around puddles as sitting water may be deeper than what it appears.
- Never attempt to drive through flooded arroyos or running water. Even when driving a large vehicle, like a truck or SUV, fast-moving water can easily overcome it.
- Watch for sand, rocks and debris that may have washed onto roadways.
- Drive with headlights on for safety and stay alert to surrounding traffic and changing weather conditions.
- If rain is too heavy or streets are flooded, pull over to a safe distance from the roadway – in a parking lot or away from traffic – until conditions improve.
- Get indoors when lightning is seen or when thunder is heard.
- Lightning tends to strike taller objects, so avoid open areas and keep away from tall objects in open areas.
- Stay away from tall trees, utility poles, towers and large bodies of water.
- If you’re in a group of people and unable to take shelter, have the group spread out.
- Keep away from electrical equipment, corded telephones and plumbing during a storm. Don’t swim, shower, bathe or wash dishes when lightning is nearby.
- Stay clear of and avoid downed power lines.
Jessica Onsurez can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @JussGREAT.