ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While much of the wintry mix has turned into slush around the Albuquerque metro, more freezing temperatures will turn that into ice, making for some slick roads Tuesday evening and overnight.
Earlier on Tuesday, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and local leaders gave an update on the city’s response to the storm. They focused the discussion on keeping the vulnerable population warm.
“Throughout this storm, we’ve made sure that anybody who wants shelter, has access to shelter for as long as this storm lasts,” said Carol Pierce, director of CABQ’s Family and Community Services. In addition to the Westside Emergency Shelter, the city has activated two overflow shelters, as well as four hotels they’re using to keep the homeless safe and indoors.
As for the roads, the city says 35 crews have been going non-stop for the last 72 hours, plowing and salting roads in 12-hour shifts and they’ll keep going until roads are dry. The slick roads also caused plenty of crashes. One car lost control and ended up on a sidewalk off Lead and 11th, while a truck hit a traffic light on the westside at Coors and Eagle Ranch.
Still, the weather didn’t stop some people from getting out. Some were enjoying the trails and going for a run. “I’ve come to enjoy it more since I’ve been out here. It’s generally less people and it’s really calming,” said Haley Butler-Moore, who was running through the snow at Copper Trailhead. “I think it’s great. We’re in a drought so the more moisture we can get, the better.”
Others got out to make the trails clean. Steve Ellis took his ATV plow along Tramway from Central to Montgomery, keeping the walking trails cleared.
“That’s why I do it. It’s just to give back to the community. I’ve been out since 7 o’clock this morning doing it and I love it,” said Ellis. “It’s amazing to see the amount of people that are out walking their dogs in this weather, and that’s why I like to do it, to keep them safe.”
Just outside Albuquerque, other areas were hit especially hard. Los Lunas and Belen saw several inches of snow that quickly turned to ice. Many commuters say the New Mexico Department of Transportation did not get out early to clear the interstates so a trip to Albuquerque took more than an hour and a half.
While people in the East Mountains are used to the snow, the plows were out early but as soon as the roads were cleared, more snow fell. People say the highways and freeways got icy pretty quickly including 337, I-40 and 217. In Rio Rancho, packed-in snow and a thin sheet of ice covered most major roads.
NMDOT and officials are recommending people to stay home if they can. The city has activated a hotline for anyone to call if they need shelter tonight. That number is 244-8604.