Strong winds cause damage across New Mexico  

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico experienced strong and damaging winds Wednesday with some areas seeing snow and blowing dust.

KOB 4 had crews throughout the state following the storm that caused a lot of problems.


In Albuquerque, there were multiple downed trees on Montaño, causing crews to block off the northbound lanes of from Coors to Tierra Viva.

Parks and recreation also reported several other fallen trees in Vail, Tiguex and Academy Hills Park.

KOB 4 was at Academy Hills and Tingley Beach where people were out running, walking their dogs, and fishing – nobody we talked to saw this coming.

“I’ll fish in the rain, I’ll fish in the snow. It don’t bother me as long as I’m not getting sick and know I’m all right,” said Pete Jaramillo. 

The storm happened so quickly, Bernalillo County put out a health alert from blowing dust and shut down contractor work at noon.

A PNM outage map showed 5,000 customers without power from 279 outages.

A PNM spokesperson told KOB 4 a majority of those outages are in the metro as a result of this storm. She also says crews will work around the clock to restore power, but not until the wind dies down, so it’s safer for them to get near power lines.

In the meantime, PNM is asking for patience.

“We know that this can be very frustrating for our customers, and we’re trying our very best to restore power safely, because safety is our top priority,” said Terri Reishus, PNM spokesperson. 

Albuquerque Fire Rescue says their crews responded to several downed power lines, fire alarms, and outside fires that have been brought under control. But the wind can make their job more difficult and dangerous too.

Bernalillo County firefighters also rushed to control a small brush fire in the South Valley before the wind made it any worse.

The bush fire was near Arenal and Lopez, south of Isleta. Firefighters were able to keep the fire within the boundaries of the Sanchez Farm Open Space. No word on how it began.

Southwest New Mexico

The wild weather hit the state is many ways, but the wind really impacted southern areas of New Mexico. 

The National Weather Service said conditions Wednesday afternoon were to reach up to 64 mph from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Socorro.  

Visibility was impacted directly by the dust blowing about 20 miles out of Socorro. 

NMDOT told KOB 4 that with all the severe wind and winter weather going on around the state, it’s best to stay off the roads if possible.

“The best thing is if you don’t have to travel, don’t travel right now, it’s just not worth it,” said Ami Evan with NMDOT. 

Since winter weather conditions are impacting a lot of the metro area in Albuquerque, NMDOT said there are a lot of people traveling south right now to get westbound to Arizona and other places – creating more traffic. 

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Southeast New Mexico

The snow spared southeast New Mexico, but not the wind. Close to Roswell, the area is pretty well-scrubbed normally, so they’re used to the wind, but dust might become a big deal later on when winds reach 50-70 mph. 

In Artesia, it was very windy and dust was the major impact. 

School districts in Artesia and Carlsbad said they did not cancel classes or after school events because of the wind. 

But the National Weather Service out of El Paso did report that schools at White Sands Missile Range were let out early because of the wind.

In Carlsbad, the wind has definitely picked up toward Wednesday evening, with the dust being the main impact.