By Darrell Todd Maurina
As sleet bore down on Clovis late Monday evening, Curry County Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos said he wants people to be prepared and ready for winter weather conditions.
De Los Santos said that while eastern New Mexico and West Texas don’t get that much snow, conditions that might not be a problem in northern cities can cause serious problems locally.
“We don’t have hardly any equipment,” De Los Santos said. “Normally communities like ours don’t have much snow so they don’t have the equipment to remove it.”
De Los Santos cautioned that lack of experience with winter weather conditions can turn a minor problem into a major disaster.
“I would say not being prepared for the weather is the most dangerous problem,” De Los Santos said. “People drive too fast, and having a disaster supply kit in your vehicle is vital at any time. That includes things like a blanket, flashlight, and batteries to go with it.”
Mark Fettig of the National Weather Service said the severity of weather in Clovis could depend on temperature differences of just a few degrees.
“You are right on the edge; further north they are a little more likely to get roads with some ice or snowy patches,” Fettig said.
Fettig said that while Clayton and other areas in northeastern New Mexico could get up to six inches of snow by this morning, he expected much less in Clovis and Tucumcari.
De Los Santos said just because weather conditions are good in Clovis doesn’t mean they will be good in Amarillo, the mountainous regions of New Mexico, or other locations only a few hours away.
“People need to watch their local forecasts to see what’s going on,” De Los Santos said. “If they are traveling in this state or in other states, there are always highway numbers to call to check out road conditions.”