Snow hinders traffic

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Snow and below freezing temperatures Thursday had drivers slip sliding to work.

Portales Police Deputy Chief Lonnie Berry said there were four accidents.

“They were all called in as accidents without injuries,” Berry said. “The ones I have been to are just enough to block traffic.”

The thermometer is expected to sink into the teens Friday morning and barely climb to above freezing most of the day.

Todd Shoemake, meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said expect snow showers overnight that could last until noon.

“Overall we’re expecting maybe 2 to 3 inches of snow in some localized areas,” Shoemake said.

Shoemake said expect highs around 32 or 33 degrees for a day time high and low will in the lower teens to 20s said Shoemake. Temperatures should start climbing in the 40s for highs over the weekend, but drop back into the 20s at night.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker reported no weather-related accidents.

“Right now, the roads are somewhat clear,” Hooker said. “We are just holding on for the evening and the early morning hours.”

Roads in Portales are still wet from melting snow on the highway and city streets. City crews have been salting and sanding streets.

“They had trucks running a bit early,” Berry said. “We had city and state crews out running all over town. It’s going to get cold tonight and it is going to freeze so be careful (driving) especially around intersections.”

Berry said drivers should start slowing down before they come to an intersection.

The snow caused several area cancellations including schools and athletic events.

The Grady Round Robin Tournament was also postponed due to the weather.

Eastern New Mexico University closed campus until 10 a.m. today.

Superintendent Randy Fowler said Portales schools planned a two-hour delay for this morning, unless they notified the public otherwise, due to extreme cold and slick roads.

Junior high basketball games were canceled Thursday, Fowler said.

Susan Lambirth with Elida schools said the school day ended at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Elida, Dora and Floyd school systems don’t hold class on Fridays.

Dora schools were in session for a full day, and the boys and girls basketball teams went ahead with a trip to a tournament in Tatum, Superintendent Steve Barron said.