ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This winter storm is being felt all around the Albuquerque area with intense winds and sideways snow. The roaring winds have uprooted trees and caused traffic light outages, adding time to some people’s commute on Wednesday.  

Strong wind gusts knocked over garbage bins with some of them even getting blown down the street. Rio Rancho Public Schools had staff and students sheltering in place because the high winds created dangerous driving conditions for the school buses. 

A business owner in Old Town who runs an art gallery said he opened for a couple of hours Wednesday before the weather got in the way, forcing him to close about six hours early.

“I had some customers which was great, but then the wind started blowing everything started to blow in my store. I have a store full of leaves, and I decided I was going to call it quits earlier and just drive to meet up with my family,” explained David Behrens. 

According to PNM more than 5,000 Albuquerque homes and businesses have dealt with power outages this afternoon. Due to these extreme winds, Albuquerque-Bernalillo Air Quality Program issued a health alert for blowing dust until Thursday.