EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Monday’s flash floods aftermath in El Paso left debris and mud on the roads, but more rain is expected on Tuesday as we continue to be under a flash flood watch.
The National Weather Service extended the flash flood watch at least until Wednesday morning as more rainfall is expected to hit El Paso throughout Tuesday.
“Right now El Paso has received all the rain it can handle, the ground can’t soak any more rain up,” said Jason Laney, a meteorologist with the NWS. He explained that, at this point, even a small drizzle can cause some flooding.
Laney said even though the area is getting plenty of rainfall, he believes El Paso will not see the same severe flooding that happened back in 2006, with more than 15 inches of rain that fell in two weeks — twice the annual average.
Since then, the city has been investing in the Municipal Drainage Utility System by improving the drainage system with dams, retention ponds, drain conduits and canals.
Martin Noriega, CEO of El Paso Water, said that the system is helping during this flooding event, explaining that it works as a bathtub of sorts, with the water draining from the streets into the basins, which takes some time to get through the drain.
“Water is going where it’s supposed to go, it’s flowing. A lot of these bigger basins are taking a lot of water off the streets, but a lot of these streets are still being used as conveyance,” Noriega said.
He urged El Pasoans to stay off the streets filled with water as it drains into the drainage system and often carries debris with it. This debris often clogs up the drains and prevents a clear water flow, requiring frequent cleaning.
“They just have to be cognizant and careful,” Noriega added.
Texas Department of Transportation warns drivers to avoid driving in wet conditions and to not drive through pools of water as it may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.