Annie Hauser, 70, shovels snow on the sidewalk in front of her home Thursday in Clovis. Hauser said she shovels the sidewalk because she is afraid kids might slip and fall on the ice and snow. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.
FREEDOM NEWSPAPERS STAFF REPORT
Eastern New Mexico’s first major snowstorm of the season closed schools, grounded planes at Cannon Air Force Base and slowed traffic on Thursday.
The Associated Press reported today is expected to see warmer temperatures, but with scattered snow showers.
Officials said up to 3 inches of snow blanketed part of the region on Thursday, but no major accidents or injuries were reported in Curry or Roosevelt counties.
State police reported a flurry of accidents on Interstate Highway 40, between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa. The exact number was not known because every officer on duty had been on the highway all day answering calls, with no time to write reports, a dispatcher said.
Six Tucumcari-area accidents resulted in injuries serious enough to require hospital care, representatives of Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital said. They said 15 people were treated at the hospital, two of whom were flown to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo because of the severity of their injuries. No names were available by press time.
Tucumcari hospital personnel said one person died at an accident site, but the death did not result from injuries suffered in the accident. The man apparently was moving items from a vehicle involved in the accident when he suffered a heart attack, they said.
Clovis Public Works Department personnel worked from 8 p.m. Wednesday through the night and all day Thursday sanding, salting and plowing city streets, said public works administrator Ramona Frogge.
She said some employees would be on duty through Thursday night, depending on the weather.
Clovis police said street conditions were snow packed and icy throughout the day Thursday. Five accidents, but no injuries, were reported. All the accidents were attributed to driving too fast, Lt. Patrick Whitney said.
County Roads Supervisor Danny Davis said Thursday morning there were no major problems on county roads.
“The roads need the moisture. It will definitely help,” he added.
Cannon Air Force Base reduced its operations due to the snow.
“Basically we go to essential personnel only, which means squadron commanders only in most cases,” said 2nd Lt. Jennifer Geeslin. “We canceled all flying for the day due to weather conditions; we want people to be as safe as possible.”
Curry County Agricultural Extension Agent Stan Jones said the snow probably won’t do much to relieve drought conditions.
“We’re in a severe drought. We need 12 inches of moisture in the next three months, then our normal amount of rain — about 15 to16 inches — after that to even begin to get out of the drought,” Jones said.
“The snow is good for the winter wheat, but 2 inches of snow is not a lot of moisture.”
Freedom Newspapers Reporters Darrell Maurina, Jack King and T.V. Hagenah contributed to this story.