Local dairy destroyed

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Clovis wasn’t the only community sustaining major damage from Friday’s storms.
Grande Vida Dairy, located off of NM 202 in Roosevelt County, was among regional businesses hit hard, said former Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher, who flew over the area Saturday.

A flurry of activity was evident at the dairy as neighbors and friends pulled together to help out the owner and his family. Cattle that could be moved from the dairy were being loaded into trailers and hauled to another location. Cowboys on horseback and others on four-wheelers gathered several head of cattle and trailed them to a neighboring dairy to be loaded onto trucks and hauled out.

Dairy Manager Mike Mitchell was unable to return phone calls.

Officials said they did not know how many cattle were killed. It could be several days before an official count is known, state officials said.

“It will be pretty substantial,” said Tim Allison, New Mexico Livestock Board brand inspector.

Hatcher said the path of destruction seemed to have started south of the dairy and traveled north to Clovis. Once it reached the Prince Street overpass, it looked as if it turned back to the east, he said.

“It essentially went right down the highway,” Hatcher said.

Strewn across the area is the debris that was blown across the countryside.

Sprinklers were also blown over and are upside down in the fields. Hatcher described the scene as looking like “someone took glitter and sprinkled it in a straight line across the area”, he said.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker witnessed the tornado as it began its travel along U.S. 70.

“I could see it on both sides and it was huge. It was pretty crazy,” Hooker said.

In Logan, officials said a tornado with wind speeds estimated at 90 to 95 mph, with spikes upward of 105 mph, was responsible for destroying at least 20 homes on Friday afternoon.

State officials estimated 55 homes were damaged by the storm.

Other damage in Roosevelt County included downed power lines along Cacahuate Road near the dairy. The power outage cut service to the well fields supplying the city of Portales its municipal water supply, according to Capt. Lonnie Berry of the Portales Police Department.

Berry said generators were being brought into the area to put at least some of the wells back in service as soon as possible. He said workers were hoping to accomplish that Saturday afternoon.

In the meantime the city was on backup water supply, which Berry said would be sufficient for the short term. He said the city was encouraging residents to conserve water by not watering lawns and turning off automatic sprinkler systems until the wells are back in service.

He said it could be several days before power is completely restored in the well field.

A house near Rogers had the shingles stripped from its roof and windows blown out, Dora Fire Chief Paul Luscombe said. He said no one was injured at the home though residents where in the house at the time.

“It vacuum-cleaned the shingles right off that house,” Luscombe said.

— Karl Terry contributed to this report