No injuries reported, but dozens stranded as blizzard-like conditions hit northern NM
CLAYTON, N.M. — Union County officials say the blizzard-like conditions near Clayton brought visibility down to basically zero. At least 50 cars were stranded in the snow.
The conditions closed down parts of Highway 64 and Highway 56. The Union County emergency manager says there was one major backup along Highway 56.
It took a joint effort from the sheriff’s office, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and the emergency manager’s office to help everyone stranded.
“There was, out of the 50 cars, there was probably over 100, I know there was over 100 people because there’s four or five to a car. But there were like two or three or maybe even four infants that we counted out there,” said Kris Lawrence, emergency manager. “So and they had been stranded out there for several hours.”
Lawrence said it was a little frustrating.
“It was very apparent about what the weather conditions were,” Lawrence said. “I don’t know why people were still so adamant to hit the highways and try to get to their destination.”
All three agencies say they have not heard of any injuries or deaths during the last few days from the storm. The conditions were much more clear Tuesday, but the wind is sticking around.
“Unfortunately, when wind starts to get involved, we can’t throw as much of that deicer and cinders on the roadway because the road, it just blows it off the roadway,” said Travis Martinez with NMDOT. “And then as the moisture stays on the road, winds and all, it starts to freeze up the road when temperatures drop below freezing.”
Martinez says NMDOT works with New Mexico State Police for road closures, and NMSP decides if visibility is too bad to drive in.