A storm packing rain and a tornado moved into southeast Colorado on Sunday as downpours north of Pueblo briefly closed an eight-mile section of Interstate 25.
The highway was closed around 5:30 p.m. and reopened about 90 minutes later. Colorado Department of Transportation officials did not immediately have an estimate of how much water was on the road.
Meteorologist Makoto Moore said there were reports of 3 to 4 inches of rain across the northern part of Pueblo County, where a tornado touched down. Several buildings were damaged, but Shorter said it wasn’t immediately clear if it was due to the tornado or strong winds.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings. Meteorologists reported 4 to 6 inches of rain in southeast Cheyenne County near the Kansas line.
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens issued a disaster emergency order Saturday for Douglas County, southwest of Denver, where rain had washed out roads and flooded homes in areas stripped of vegetation by a 138,000-acre wildfire in 2002.
In New Mexico, a 15-year-old boy fell into a flooded diversion channel in Albuquerque on Saturday evening, and the turbulent current carried him on a 5-mile ride, said Albuquerque fire inspector Gabe Serna. The boy had dropped his keys and slipped into the arroyo when he tried to retrieve them.
It took three attempts before rescue crews could pull him from the swift current, Serna said. He was treated for hypothermia and abrasions at a hospital.
“I don’t know how many times we tell people, ’Do not play in the arroyo.’ We always manage to get one that falls in,” Serna said.
Thunderstorms dropped an estimated 3 inches of rain in an hour Saturday over Truth or Consequences and the surrounding area, south of Albuquerque, the weather service said.
Flooding washed out roads in Rio Rancho, just north of Albuquerque, and 4 feet of water covered an Interstate 25 exit in Socorro.