updated 8/5/2006 10:59:53 PM ET 2006-08-06T02:59:53

Flash-flood warnings were issued Saturday night and rain began falling again in this waterlogged border city, prompting officials to ask for volunteers to fill sandbags in case of more flooding.

Rain has soaked the area every day since July 27, sending floodwaters through the city, triggering flash floods and rock slides, and forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate low-lying areas and swamped mountainsides.

Parts of El Paso have received up to 15 inches of rain since January, with nearly all of that falling in the past week, said Roger Mead with the National Weather Service. The city typically receives less than 10 inches a year.

Border Patrol agents brought three airboats and a riverboat to the area earlier Saturday as a precaution. Border Patrol Agent Patrick Berry said the airboats are the same kind used to rescue people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

About 150 people were in three shelters opened around the city Saturday.

On Thursday, the heavy rain threatened to break in a dam across the border in Mexico, which officials said could send up to 6 million gallons of water into El Paso in as little as three minutes.

Crews reduced water levels at the dam, and nearly 1,000 residents who sought refuge in the city’s convention center were allowed to return home Friday. Later, the convention center was closed.

Authorities in Ciudad Juarez evacuated more than 4,000 families living near the dam earlier in the week as a precaution and kept an eye on 69 smaller dams throughout the city.

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