Cleanup Continues in Jal After Sunday's Storm

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

JAL, NEW MEXICO--Two days after a strong storm ripped through their tiny town, some of the people who live there are still without power.  City officials and the weather service say they know what caused all this damage.

"It was straight line winds generated from a thunderstorm.  The center of that wind activity was aproximately 80 maybe 90 mile per hour winds," Van Myrick, Director of Public Works, said.

He says they got lucky.  The damage from Sunday's storm could have been much worse, "Just structural damage.  No injuries or fatalities reported so the city faired pretty well there."

But for residents outside the city, along Highway 128, they say this kind of damage couldn't have been caused by just wind. James Adams' parents are two of those people.  "There's wind damage everywhere but there is an isolated path through here.  I believe it was definitely a tornado and listening to my parent describe it, it was the provervial, it sounded like a train coming through," he said.

Power poles and trees snapped in two.  A house riddled with hail damage.   To top it off, they've been without power, since it all happened.

There was some extensive damage done on Jal's south side and reports of power outages.  At one point, Myrick says, they thought they might even lose water, "Our well field, they didn't get power restored to it until about 6 a.m. Monday morning,  which was quite scary for us because we were about to run out of water."

Adams is concerned about losing more than that, "I've actually been running a little generator to keep the deep freeze going and keep everything from ruining in it."

But he's also grateful for the efforts of the electric company, "They have not stopped working since the storm hit.  They haven't actually given us a time table, but they're working as fast as they can."

Myrick says the cleanup inside the city should be complete by Wednesday.  They should have an estimated dollar amount on the damage by the end of the week.