Winds whip city

Wind gusts peaked at 75 mph in the afternoon, according to Carlos Arias, manager of Blue Sky Aviation at Clovis Municipal Airport, and averaged around 45 mph. (Staff photo: Tony Bullocks)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Southerly winds sandblasted the area Thursday, blanketing the sky with a coffee-with-cream hue and making driving difficult and life generally miserable.

However, one local business manager didn’t seem to mind.

“We love bad weather,” said Anna Cardonita, general manager of Domino’s Pizza on Prince Street, even after the wind tossed a street lamp into a fence surrounding the restaurant’s picnic area. “We’re here to make money, and when the weather’s bad, (delivery) business is good.”

Wind gusts peaked at 75 mph in the afternoon, according to Carlos Arias, manager of Blue Sky Aviation at Clovis Municipal Airport, and averaged around 45 mph.

“We’ve been expecting this (wind) all week,” he said. Arias said his reports showed similar conditions throughout the northern portions of the state.

The high winds worsen an already existing fire risk, according to Ike Burns, fire department battalion chief. Burns said his department stays on a heightened alert and often increases manpower during windy conditions.

As of the evening hours, Burns said the day had been relatively uneventful. His department responded to a downed-wires call that was easily corrected.

His department was closely monitoring updates on fires in Amarillo and Lovington.
“We have our fingers crossed,” he said.

The dry and windy conditions are expected to continue today, with gusts of up to 40 mph, according to AccuWeather.com.