Westside Albuquerque, Rio Rancho get hit hard with snow

New Mexico
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The area hit the hardest with snow Tuesday was Albuquerque’s westside and Rio Rancho.

The snow started falling around 4 a.m. and it didn’t stop until around 10 a.m. Roads in the area were covered with snow and ice, which made it very tricky for morning commuters.

Rio Rancho and Albuquerque Public Schools first announced a two-hour delay. However, as the conditions grew worse they quickly decided to cancel school for the day.

Roads were slick and made getting around the westside a difficult task for everyone. One driver had to be pushed by an Albuquerque Police Department Public Serice Aide. 

Truck driver Marco Soto, who drove in from Lubbock, Texas, Monday night said he still had deliveries to make.

“We have a time frame that we have to hit and we have certain stores at certain times. We’re going a little slower… We’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Soto. 

The New Mexico Department of Transportation says it has two trucks designated to clearing Hwy 528. There are also trucks working on US 550. 

The NMDOT has issued the following safe winter driving tips:

  • Reduce your speed. The best accident prevention on snow and ice is to SLOW DOWN and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you for emergencies.
  • Practice good winter driving techniques. Keep your gas tank full, turn on your head lights, keep winter driving chains in your vehicle, have a winter survival kit, which includes: 
    • Flashlight
    • Hand warmers packets
    • First aid supplies
    • High energy snacks
    • Bottled water and read your owner’s manual for special instructions on driving 4-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles with ABS on snow and ice.
  • Avoid driving in a snow cloud. Large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks and snow plows, may produce dense clouds of blowing snow that make it difficult for drivers to see. When drivers encounter snow clouds, they should stay back to avoid the cloud.
  • Plan ahead and be patient. Delays are common during bad weather. Leave a little earlier and be patient with delays
  • Check before you pass. Know where a snow plow and blade are before trying to pass. On multi-lane highways, the plow can be in your blind spot. Before attempting to pass make sure it is safe. 
  • Pay attention to weather forecasts. Winter storms in New Mexico can become severe quickly, so stay tuned to weather forecasts when planning your trip.
  • Don’t use cruise control. Never use cruise control when the roads are in slippery conditions. Using your cruise control can reduce your control of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip.
  • Know your current road conditions. Visit the NMDOT website for current road advisory information at http://nmroads.com, or dial 511 in the state, or call 1-800-432-4269. You can also view KRQE’s Traffic Map. 
  • Wear your seatbelt. Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers also “buckle up.” 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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