Floodwaters drench Albuquerque, NM - WNEM TV 5

Floodwaters drench Albuquerque, NM

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At least three drivers tried to maneuver their cars through the high water. In each case, the drivers abandoned their cars and climbed to safety. (Source: KRQE/CNN) At least three drivers tried to maneuver their cars through the high water. In each case, the drivers abandoned their cars and climbed to safety. (Source: KRQE/CNN)

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE/CNN) - Heavy rain late Friday night caused problems, including some major flooding in the downtown area.

Authorities discouraged travel downtown until the water subsides. Officials say the water even lifted manholes, exposing holes that may be difficult to see.

The flooding started around 10:30 p.m. Much of it sent police officers and firefighters scrambling through the city trying to close roads and help stranded drivers.

"I think the whole city is getting pounded," said Commander Jed Hyland with the Albuquerque Fire Department.

At least three drivers tried to maneuver their cars through the high water. In each case, the drivers abandoned their cars and climbed to safety.

"Two guys jumped out of the yellow Mustang or Camaro, I think it is, and we were trying to help them out, but it's like a river," said Edward Villa, a witnesses who saw it all happen while riding on a city bus.

Albuquerque Police shut down the Central Avenue underpasses for several hours shortly after 11 p.m. High water there reached an estimated 7 to 9 feet above the roadway, which has a more than 13-foot clearance.

The water didn't stop at the Central underpass either. A photographer saw water rushing into the Q Burger restaurant several blocks away on the corner of 3rd and Central.

In east downtown, Broadway Boulevard also saw a lot of problems not only with high water but road damage.

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