A second day of storms left far-East El Paso residents sweeping up, draining water and keeping a keen eye on the sky.
Shortly after 2 p.m., the severe thunderstorm crossed the US/Mexico border, dropping quarter- to golf ball-sized hail, 60+ mph winds, and unleashing flooding rains on a wide swath of the Lower Valley.
I-10 was brought to a standstill as the hail piled up on the roadway,up to a 1/4 inch deep, transforming the early-fall landscape into a near-winter wonderland.
As the storm moved Northeast, winds twisted desert plants and trees alike, and the hail made short work of any leaves and outdoor light-duty structures, shredding them within the span of a few minutes.
A few miles away on Horizon Boulevard, El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputies had traffic down to two lanes, as the two main arroyos spilled over the roadway; the force of the water pushing the remaining hail into blocks resembling glaciers almost two feet deep.
Those same arroyos became rapids as they crossed over and under I-10, emptying their angry, dark waters on the lowland neighborhoods in Socorro.
Hardest hit once again were residents on Thunder Road, where the arroyos quickly filled up the fallow cotton fields and the once-empty canals crisscrossing the city.
Once filled, the waters then overflowed onto streets, forcing residents to abandon their vehicles and ride to their homes in the backs of their neighbor’s pick up trucks.
On his Facebook page, Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz shared his memory of the last tornado warning in Socorro, which was back in 5th grade.
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, there were no serious injuries or damage reported as a result of the storms or the resulting flooding.
We will continue to check in with officials and update this story as necessary.