Hazardous winter storm hits eastern New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Snow has started to fall in eastern New Mexico along I-40 Saturday.

Most of the state is expected to be hit with wind, rain, snow, and bitter cold temperatures over the course of the weekend.

NMDOT road crews started prepping I-40 east of Albuquerque around 8 p.m.

Crews will be using de-icing chemicals over bridges and a mixture of salt and cinder on roads.

NMDOT said people should anticipate hazardous driving conditions, and should try to avoid travel unless it’s absolutely necessary.

"From tonight around 7, to tomorrow afternoon about 5 or 6. It’s looking to be about a 12-hour storm where we might have whiteout conditions and with these low temperatures icy conditions,” said Kimberly Gallegos, District 3 public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

A local resident who has lived near Tijeres for 50 years said he’s only seen this type of weather a few times over the past five decades. He also added that a lot of preparation goes into planning for the storm.

"Certain amount of anxiety that you just go down that, you know, my wife listed 20 things we do. You want to make it down that list. If it’s quicker, if it’s coming in quicker and have less notice—you gotta get down the list faster. It’s just a lot of work. It’s part of the lifestyle out here. It’s what you do," said Jim West.