Downed trees, blowing snow and high winds caused a mess in Los Alamos Wednesday. Roads have been closed forcing rescues of stranded motorists.
It’s been a wild and scary day in Los Alamos and some visitors going to the Valles Caldera found out the hard way.
Bad is an understatement for how Los Alamos police have described Wednesday’s road conditions. One Los Alamos police officer says he clocked wind gusts up to 75 mph. That caused hundreds of trees to be knocked down, covering many roads and highways.
Los Alamos police say since midnight they have experienced very dangerous road conditions. So dangerous, that they had to rescue more than 20 people from their cars after trees blocked the only way out.
It was at that point that police say they had to call for backup.
“Trees have been blowing all over the highway, so we had to bring in extra officers and chainsaws and we cut our way through to a lot of people who were stranded up on the side of the road, the middle of the road,” Commander Preston Bellew said.
There was so much debris left on State Road 4 that the road was closed indefinitely. Pajarito Ski Area is closed because of power issues and downed trees.
The officers say they have never seen a combination of wind and snow this bad in Los Alamos.
Police are still warning drivers to stay off the roads as trees can fall at any time.