Region wakes up to snow

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico

It just might be a white Christmas on the High Plains.

An overnight storm brought blowing and drifting snow to the area Thursday, making roads slick and dangerous.

About an inch of snow fell overnight.

The National Weather Service is predicting high winds — 30 mph to 40 mph — and more light snowfall throughout the day. Wind gusts may continue through Friday evening.

Temperatures are expected to stay in the low to mid-30s Friday and Saturday.

Clovis motorists appeared to be coping with slick roads and streets. But Portales and Roosevelt County seemed to be hit harder.

The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department was cautioning drivers Thursday morning to avoid any unnecessary travel and stay home.

Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders said as of 9 a.m. Thursday dispatch had not received any calls for accidents.

However, first responders were called to help numerous travelers sliding off roads and stuck in ditches, predominately along major highways and in the county.

“Allow yourself a lot of time and recognize that you can’t travel too fast on these kinds of road conditions,” Sanders said.

“People need to pay attention to the fact that it’s slick out there.”

Sanders said city, state and county road crews are out during the snowstorm and continue working to salt, sand and clear roads.

In Portales, the storm was being blamed for about a half-a-dozen minor wrecks, Deputy Police Chief Lonnie Berry said.

Berry said he thinks the effect of the weather on traffic was lessened because many chose to stay home rather than brave the roads.

“I know a lot of people wanted to travel today to get places (and) I know this has discouraged that,” he said.

“It’s kept traffic down so that’s helped us a lot.”