Rescue groups prepare with 'flood channel exercises'

Updated: 05/30/2014 5:43 PM | Created: 05/30/2014 5:06 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It could happen in seconds flash flooding in the arroyos has claimed lives before and rescue groups say the drownings can happen again, which is why they are preparing for the worst with "flood channel exercises."

The Embudo Arroyo was one of many areas the Albuquerque Fire Department trained in preparation for monsoon season.

Even on a clear-dry day in the city, rescue groups could be out doing missions in the arroyos

“If it’s raining on the west face of the Sandia Mountains, which water drains into our flood control system,” said Lt. Chris Carlsen with AFD. “Couple of feet of water could easily reach speeds up to 25 miles an hour.”

They hope this message gets through to children.

“It can be an enticing place for kids to play so we try to reinforce the message on how deadly they are," Lt. Carlsen said.

Their most successful rescue maneuver is similar to a football pass. A bag connected to a rope is tossed in front of the victim in hopes they can grab hold.

Albuquerque firefighters say they’re called out for at least one flood rescue mission a year-sometimes more.

The Albuquerque fire department practices these methods but they hope they will never have to use them. This is part of their campaign "ditch the ditches". 

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