ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – In minutes, a family’s Albuquerque home was in the middle of a river of rushing water Monday. The family is frustrated with the city, since it’s happened before.
Tuesday, there was still nearly a foot of hail and debris piled up in the couple’s back yard, near Washington and Constitution in northeast Albuquerque.
Monday during the storm, it looked a lot worse.
“You can see how fast it’s still rushing in from the street, there’s nothing we can do,” Sasha Patton said as she took cell phone video of the rain water rushing onto her property.
Within minutes, gutters clogged and the street was under water. Sasha and her husband’s property quickly flooded.
“My voice starts to shake, because it’s just really scary to stand there and watch everything you have almost going under water,” Sasha told KRQE News 13.
Tuesday, hail and debris was still piled high in their yard, at least eight inches in some places.
When the storm hit Monday, Sasha’s husband knocked nine holes in their cinder block wall to keep the current at bay. “We had three sledge hammers, and adrenaline,” the couple said.
An inch of rainfall quickly became two feet in their back yard.
“Our chickens were floating,” Sasha recalled. On top of their belongings, the couple’s concerns were for the safety of their 18-month-old son and small pets.
The couple said the city’s storm drain system has repeatedly failed. “It was like somebody just put a plug in a bathtub drain,” Sasha said. The Fire Department responded Monday to help keep water from inside their home.
This isn’t the first time their property has flooded. The family had major damage from a storm last July. When they notified the city, and filed a complaint, Sasha said nothing was done.
“It puts my family at risk, it puts my home at risk, I’m in a ‘certified flood-free zone’ as far as city zoning is concerned, clearly that’s not the case,” said Sasha. “I just want the city to fix it.”
KRQE News 13 took the family’s concerns to city officials. “In a lot of these parts of the city, we find that the original drainage system is undersized,” said Melissa Lozoya, Deputy Director for the city’s Department of Municipal Development.
Lozoya said any changes will be underground to make water lines bigger, but it won’t happen right away. “The intent is to evaluate the systems within Albuquerque and look and see what improvements need to be made, but it’s just really hard to predict the weather,” said Lozoya.
“This is our first house, we worked really hard to remodel it,” Sasha explained.
Their 18-month old loves to play outside. Now, their yard is destroyed. The couple along with some of their neighbors, have a muddy mess to clean up.
“We’re nervous every time it rains,” Sasha told KRQE News 13. She said since they’re in a “certified flood-free zone,” their insurance won’t cover this kind of flood damage. They estimate this storm will cost them thousands of dollars.
City officials said it’ll likely be a couple of years before they can make changes to those drainage lines underground.
Neighbors in the same area said the city did make changes last year to the street’s storm drain system. However, they claim flooding has gotten worse since those changes were made.