Warmth welcomed after wintry weekends

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

As the snow and mud receded, like sleepy groundhogs, Portales residents emerged from their dens to soak up the sun and catch up on outside work and activities.

Travis Melton, a minister at the Baptist Student Union at Eastern New Mexico University, was washing his pickup truck Monday afternoon in front of his apartment on 18th Street. He joked the truck had stayed dirty for the last six years. But he admitted that he had actually washed the salt off of it after the first storm.

“This time it was more mud than salt though,” Melton said.

Melton’s roommate, ENMU student Michael Hawthorne, was suited up for a ride on his road bike.

“Today’s a good day,” Hawthorne said. “I’m a very avid bicyclist and I’m preparing for a ride to Santa Rosa, so this is a perfect day to get in some miles.”

Gus Galley, a project manager with LCI2 construction of Clovis, which is doing the utility work on the student housing project at ENMU, said the weather and mud on the site had idled work for about a week.

“Since today’s a nice day, we’ve done pretty well,” he said. “It’s dried up pretty much.

The ENMU baseball and softball teams started their seasons this weekend with little or no time outside on the fields because of the weather, according to coaches. Portales High School tennis coach Michelle Wallis said they had been tested by the weather conditions as well. She said the team had shoveled the courts after the big storm so they were able to practice for three days last week.

“It does affect us in a way, because we do not have the consistency we need from practice,” Wallis said.

Bill Smith, owner of a local car wash, said the business had been swamped since about Friday.

“In fact it’s (the car wash) having a hard time keeping up with the water demand,” Smith said. “When people saw the sun here they came.”

With temperatures topping out Sunday and Monday in the high 50s, the forecast for the week was for sun and warmer temperatures.