AFR swift water rescues Sunday after downpour

Albuquerque, NM (KKOB) — At approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, AFR responded to the arroyo system for reports of people being swept away in the diversion channel.  AFR responded with a total of 22 units to their designated locations in the arroyo system that include Snow Heights, Morningside, Menaul, Montgomery, Osuna, and Alameda at the channel.  Calls to 911 reported two individuals in the water at the Rachel and Tramway location (Box Diversion Channel), which flows water away into a different system down south Juan Tabo.  Shortly after the report of the two individuals in the water, another report of third victim came in. This individual  was stuck on top of a barricade in the middle of the arroyo at Wyoming and the channel with fast moving water and unable to get to safety.  One individual was rescued with the help of APD who was in stable condition. The second individual was recovered at the “Box” location on Rachel and Tramway and unfortunately was deceased.  The third individual was rescued off the Wyoming location by AFR using a harness and belay system carried by units specifically designed for this type of rescue.  Units remained at their  assigned locations to ensure no other people were in the arroyo for another 40 minutes.  As the water subsided and all reports of no one remaining in the water were confirmed units were cleared and returned to service.  

It is extremely important for our community to understand the dangers of the arroyo system and ditches located throughout the city.  Although what may appear as a small storm far away from one location in the city these arroyos will quickly fill and sweep anyone in them with fast moving water. These arroyos are designed to safely divert water away from the city and no one should access or occupy them.