ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico’s largest city and main university campus closed their offices Friday because of snow and slippery road conditions, joining communities around the state hammered by a winter storm.
All non-essential employees with the city of Albuquerque were told not to come to work, and the University of New Mexico closed its main campus.
Dozens of accidents were blamed on icy conditions in the Albuquerque area. Authorities said the freezing weather arrived later than usual - at 4 a.m. - complicating the effort to clear roads. Crews didn’t have as much time as usual to put salt down as the morning rush hour arrived.
Albuquerque officials insisted they did everything they could, pushing back against complaints from drivers who were not seeing plows on the road as they dealt with dangerous conditions.
“Our crews were out in full force as early as possible,” Albuquerque Chief Operations Officer Michael Riordan said.
Schools in many communities, including Santa Fe, canceled classes as difficult driving conditions were reported around the state. Ski resorts in the north reported receiving anywhere from 8 inches to more than a foot of snow.
Laborer Guillermo Perez took a break from his plaster job and was hard at work before the sun came up, shoveling snow from streets and sidewalks in Santa Fe while it was still dark.
The National Weather Service said snow tapered off as the storm moved east into Texas, though many roads and highways were expected to remain icy and snow-packed into the weekend across much of northern and eastern New Mexico.
Forecasters warned of low temperatures at night, with wind chills as low as zero.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.