ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico is bracing Wednesday for possible flooding and mudslides as remnants from Tropical Storm Odile move into the state.
The National Weather Service said severe weather could dump as much as 8 inches of rain in the southern part of the state before the storm system weakens Friday.
Large storm clusters hung over New Mexico on Wednesday, generally moving from the southwest toward the northeast. So far, Socorro and Catron counties have seen around 3 inches of rain in two days, officials said.
Five-day National Weather Service forecasts call for up to 5 inches in southern New Mexico, with up to 8 inches in the southwestern and south-central mountain regions. Heavy rain is expected throughout the week.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said parts of Arizona and New Mexico could receive 6 to 9 inches of rain and possible flash flooding.
The remnants of Odile, which had been downgraded from a Category 3 hurricane to a tropical storm, were expected to reach Arizona by Wednesday evening and strike hardest in the Tucson area before moving into New Mexico.
Officials warn thunderstorms in areas previously damaged by wildfires could cause flooding and mudslides.
In Otero and Dona Ana counties, officials made sandbags available for residents to halt potential flooding into homes.
New Mexico Department of Transportation officials also warned motorists Tuesday to avoid low-lying frontage roads adjacent to Interstate 10 in southern New Mexico due to flooding concerns.
Travel on Interstate 25 also could be hazardous with heavy rain and low visibilities.