David Arkin: CNJ Correspondent
Linda Martinez came to Clovis from California’s San Bernardino Valley in search of a safer environment for her family.
So far, the weather has not cooperated.
A tree fell on her car Sunday night as a storm whipped through the region with lightning and winds at speeds in excess of 45 mph.
“We moved here from California to get away from the earthquakes and everything and look what happens — (a) big old wind comes through here and knocks a tree on my car,” she said on Monday afternoon from her home.
The National Weather Service reported sustained winds at 26 mph on Sunday night with one gust at 48 mph recorded at 7:42 p.m. at Cannon Air Force Base.
In addition to the wind, Sunday’s storm brought .35 inches of rain to Clovis.
Portales received .71 inches of rain, the National Weather Service reported.
The forecast through Friday calls for a chance of thunderstorms each day in Curry and Roosevelt counties. Showers kept the area damp most of Monday.
Martinez, who lives at 3320 Sheridan Street, said she received the bad news about her 1997 Honda from her 5-year-old son.
“I didn’t believe him at first,” Martinez said. “I went outside and looked and half the tree in our front yard was on the back of my car.”
Before anymore damage could be done to her vehicle, Martinez decided to move her car in the garage. As she was pulling it forward, the rest of the tree came crashing down on her vehicle, she said.
“My kids thought it smashed me,” said Martinez, who also has an 8-year-old daughter. “I was trying to tell them that I was OK.”
Martinez was able to get out of the vehicle safely.
She said she thinks lightning may have contributed to the tree’s fall.
The evidence from the mishap remained in her yard on Monday. She said her insurance company told her not to move it until an assessor can determine the damage. Martinez said she’s hopeful the damage to her car is minimal.
Most of the region survived Sunday’s storm with little damage. Curry County Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos said his office didn’t receive any reports of major damage in the area.
De Los Santos said Sunday night’s storm was needed.
“To me it was a great rain storm,” he said. “We didn’t get any hail reports. I just look at it as a good rain storm and we can always use the water here.”
Clovis Fire Chief Ron Edwards said his department didn’t receive any major reports of damage.
“It was kind of light,” he said. “To my knowledge we didn’t get any calls for damage. My pager didn’t go off at all Sunday night.”
Brenda Fenton, billing clerk for the Portales Ambulance Service, said the only call the fire department and ambulance services received was a call for downed power lines near Greyhound Stadium on U.S. Highway 70 — a false alarm.
“When they went out, there weren’t any downed power lines,” she said.