As most people in Curry and Roosevelt counties tried to avoid blowing away, the wind proved to be a more than a nuisance Wednesday.
Daniel Gleaton, Clovis’ First Baptist Church youth pastor, said he was in the church when he received a call from a neighbor saying the church’s roof was coming off.
“I laughed actually, I assumed it was a (small) part of the roof,” Gleaton said. “We went outside and it was a little bit more than what I anticipated. It was like pulling the lid off of a sardine can.”
Wind speeds were recorded up to 54 miles per hour in Clovis, according to Accuweather.com Senior Meteorologist Carl Erickson.
Gleaton said the Clovis Police Department responded to the area quickly, blocking the street to ensure the safety of residents.
“The police were really good,” Gleaton said. “God was good, nobody was hurt. We’ve just made some adjustments.”
Church elder Gary Mitchell said the layer of the roof the wind peeled back was made of metal and shingles.
“I came to see it after most of the damage had been done,” Mitchell said. “It just kind of buckled over, like pulling back a tin lid off of a can.”
The winds also caused isolated pockets of power outages in Clovis and west Texas, according to Xcel Energy’s Wes Reeves.
The biggest outage the Clovis area experienced left 300 customers without power until early Wednesday evening and caused some damage to power lines, according to Reeves.
Wednesday’s high winds also proved to be a problem in Portales, halting the construction project of U.S. 70.
“We got some work done in the morning before it got too bad,” said project manager John Guldemann. “We got as much done as we could but the high winds delayed us today.”
With the exception of a few construction signs knocked down, Guldemann said the wind didn’t take a major toll on their equipment, just a lost day for work.
“We monitor signs every 2-3 hours,” Guldemann said. “We had a couple of signs early on that got knocked down. The rain (from Friday) was a pretty good indicator we had to step up with our sandbags.”
Guldemann added that it is difficult to do certain tasks when the area is experiencing high winds such as pouring concrete. He predicts they will be back to work today.
“It will be our last placements before we take a break for the Christmas holiday,” Guldemann said. “(The wind) is not fun to work in and we try to avoid it but it’s part of the job when working outside.”
Capt. Jimmy Glascock with the New Mexico State Police said the wind didn’t cause any traffic issues.
According to Glascock, state police usually see about 25-30 crashes in this area during the average winter storm.
“Today we were in pretty good shape,” Glascock said.
Erickson said most winds were recorded going 25-40 mph in Clovis and Portales, with occasional gusts as high as 50 mph.
“It looks much lighter for the rest of the week, a little bit of breeze, but nothing like (Wednesday),” Erickson said. “Winds may pick up over the weekend, but nowhere near the intensity of (Wednesday’s winds).”
Erickson said the high winds are cause by an energy that is fueling the snow storm in the nation’s midsection.
According to Erickson, temperatures will be in the 50’s for the rest of the week and the low-60’s over the weekend.