ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Thursday's winds took out a holiday mainstay that just went up near the Big-I Tuesday.
He's one of the first signs of the holiday season, the smiling, happy tumbleweed snowman who waves at motorists on I40 westbound as you approach the Big-I but he wasn't so happy Thursday when high winds ripped off his head and part of his torso.
"We were worried we would not find another tumbleweed so we brought him in for the next 24/48 hours till the wind dies down" said Jerry Lavato of AMAFCA, which stands for the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo and Flood Control Authority.
AMAFCA takes care of 36 dams in Albuquerque, all the concrete channels around town and water quality.
Twelve AMAFCA employees decided to build the big snowman and four years ago, some of the employees built a metal frame to support the big guy, but that didn't stop the wind from stripping off the tumbleweeds Thursday.
"We have gotten some new information of some tumbleweeds blowing about so we may hit up some fences for some new body parts just in case" says Lavato, and when parts are assembled, the tumbleweed snowman will be back.
The tumbleweed snowman does not have a name yet, but AMAFCA said it's planning a contest next year to name him.
Albuquerque police have obtained an arrest warrant for the many investigators say held up a Home Depot store last month.
A Sandoval County sheriff's deputy is in critical condition after being hit by a vehicle while he was directing traffic at an earlier snow-related crash on Interstate 25.
It's been steadily snowing in Albuquerque all morning as the majority of New Mexico feels the effects of the snow and dropping temperatures.
As the first week of December arrived, so did a storm bringing snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
Today’s top weather and news stories with Elizabeth Alvarez, Matt Mauro and meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
Meeting 211 goes to the University of New Mexico Lobos. The Lobos and New Mexico State renewed their rivalry on a basketball court Wednesday night with the Lobos winning 79 to 70.