An explosion was reportedly heard near South Domingo Baca Arroyo, just east of Ventura, around the same time a portion of the arroyo wall cracked and buckled late Sunday night. Paul Jessen, secretary for the Heritage East Association of Residents, reported the damage on Monday after completing his regular trash patrol through the neighborhood.
“I spoke to a worker from the Water Authority today as she was approaching the arroyo,” Jessen wrote in an email. “She told me she had been dispatched to address this issue. I did not walk with her since I was on my patrol. Someone reported an explosion the night before, she said.”
Similar damage is visible on the west side of Ventura as well, with extensive cracking along the arroyo wall exposing the metal rebar beneath. Cracks and deteriorated concrete can also be seen near the storm drains that feed into the arroyo and beneath the Ventura overpass. One possible cause is regular wear and tear and weather-related damage.
According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat can cause widespread infrastructure damage. “High heat can deteriorate and buckle pavement, warp or buckle railway tracks, and exceed certain types of aircraft operational limits,” the NWS says. Temperatures have been in the upper 90s or exceeded 100° F in the last week, with a heat advisory issued for the metro area for Monday and Tuesday.
Both the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority said the portion of the arroyo that is damaged is maintained by the city. Scott Cilke, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Municipal Development, said he was looking into the issue and trying to determine the cause of the damage.
“Something catastrophic happened with the arroyo wall!” Jessen said. “Hopefully the water guys will determine the reason the wall crumbled.”