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Storms pound New Mexican village; dozens of structures damaged

Updated: Wednesday, July 24 2013, 09:43 PM MDT

By: Gina Benitez

Columbus, N.M. -- A severe thunderstorm pounded the small border village of Columbus, N.M.

Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, a storm swept through the small village of around 1,500 people.

But it wasn't any ordinary thunderstorm.

A microburst -- a strong, concentrated column of wind -- came down.

It's the opposite of a tornado.

Instead of violently rotating air, the air in a microburst moves straight down and as soon as it hits the ground it moves outward in all directions.

Winds Tuesday reached speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Power was knocked out for hours, areas flooded and 31 structures were damaged -- four destroyed.

Nicole Lawson, the mayor of Columbus, lost the roof of her late father's home while her son was still inside, and Wednesday, the home was condemned.

"I'm among the fortunate few. I'm of a family that has enough money to think of things like insurance, but Columbus is a poor town and the other people that lost their homes probably have no recourse," said Lawson.

Red Cross will be putting anyone displaced into a hotel in Deming.

Lawson says all emergency services in the village and neighboring areas are on standby should another storm hit.

Storms pound New Mexican village; dozens of structures damaged

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