Storm Smashes Tri-City Area

By: GPK Media

The storm and its lingering lightning show, according to a National Weather Service (NWS) report, was caused by an uncommon weather pattern that continued to produce isolated thunderstorms in the region through mid-week. The NWS also issued a flash-flood warning for areas below the Silver Fire burn areas, as sudden showers can move ash and debris downhill and cause dangerous flooding. Residents of the eastern Black Range foothills of western Sierra County and around the lake are cautioned to avoid flood-prone areas, as slow moving storms could cause more rainfall. The NWS said that small hail and strong wind gusts are possible through Tuesday, July 9. The pattern that caused the high winds at Elephant Butte Lake is capable of producing night thunderstorms, similar to those seen during monsoon season, and can cause destructive winds up to 90 miles per hour (mph). The Monday storm was not classified as tornadic, although winds were reported to have reached 90 mph. According to Elephant Butte State Park officials, 14 campers were damaged, including one large fifth-wheel. The system also downed 11 power lines in Truth or Consequences, shutting down one entire circuit and leaving 500 homes without power, according to Gil Avelar, Truth or Consequences Electric Department Director. Power outages, located in the area of the sewer plant, off Cook Street and over to I-25, had all been repaired by Thursday, with the exception of the sewage plant (which was operating on generators) and one residence nearby. Weather reports for the coming week call for a 20-30 percent chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, with highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s, with mostly calm winds in the 5 to 7 mph range, with the exception of isolated wind gusts accompanying thunderstorms.