Menu

After-Effects of Hurricane John Soak Texas, New Mexico

Heavy rain flooded roads in the Southwest on Monday as the rapidly weakening remnants of Hurricane John spread across the border from Mexico, where up to 20 inches had fallen on parts of the Baja Peninsula.

A half-mile section of Interstate 10 near downtown El Paso was closed by water Monday morning, police spokesman Javier Sambrano said.

Normally dry southern New Mexico got enough rain to cause isolated road flooding, southern Arizona had scattered rain, and showers were possible in desert areas of southern California through Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

In the El Paso area, where almost 3 inches of rain had fallen since Friday, no injuries or evacuations were reported, unlike during storms about a month ago that washed out roads and chased people out of their homes.

"We haven't seen a replay of what we saw several weeks ago," Sambrano said. "We've been very fortunate because it's actually been nonstop rain throughout the night."

Carlsbad, N.M., had curb-to-curb water on the streets from three days of rain, but a police dispatcher said no streets were closed Monday.

Heavy rain on Sunday shut down the 8th annual Harvest Wine Festival in Las Cruces, N.M., the first time the festival had ever been rained out, organizers said. The Las Cruces airport reported more than 2 inches of rain in 3 hours Sunday.

John was a Category 2 hurricane with sustained wind of 110 mph when it struck near the southern tip of Baja on Friday, but officials reported only minor damage. The area hardest hit was La Paz, the capital of Baja California del Sur state.

"Fortunately there is no human loss and the impact (in terms of damage) is relatively modest," Mexico President Vicente Fox said Sunday as he toured the city and pledged to help residents whose homes had been damaged.

By early Monday, the storm's maximum sustained wind had slowed to about 30 mph, well below the 39 mph threshold for a tropical storm, as it slowly moved northwestward up the spine of the narrow Baja Peninsula.