NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Cleanup efforts are now underway across the state following a powerful storm and winds. Northern New Mexico was hit particularly hard with down trees, roofs ripped off, and power outages for dozens of people. Snow and wind tore through Taos County.
- Taos County declares state of emergency after strong winds cause damage
- Winds tear down historic tree in front of Santa Fe cathedral
- Powerful winds cause problems in some parts of New Mexico
- PHOTOS: Storm leaves downed trees, flipped aircraft’s, damage across New Mexico
- Power restored in Los Alamos after wind damage
- Power restored after outage affects over 2K in Santa Fe
“It got just really gnarly this morning,” said April Ralph, Marketing and Economic Development Director for the Town of Red River. “It was really white outside for a while because it was just blowing sideways and snowing.”
In Red River, it brought down about half a dozen trees, which collapsed on buildings and cars. It also shut off the power for most of the day. The area’s ski resort was forced to close.
“Nobody’s hurt, that’s the best news,” said Ralph.
In El Prado, more than a dozen homes were deemed unlivable. In Santa Fe, the wind flipped planes upside down and brought down one of the large trees outside the cathedral.
“We’re just heartbroken that it’s gone,” said Father Tim Martinez, of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. “This was a very beloved tree. It was the Christmas tree for a lot of people in the town they would come and see it at Christmas time. It was just decorated three days ago for Christmas.”
Near Bandelier, the extreme weather brought traffic to a stop with falling trees crashing on the road. Amazingly, only minor injuries were reported. Los Alamos also saw blocked roads and lost power.
“There’s probably about a dozen trees today that fell on service lines and crews have been busy getting those trees cleared, getting service lines back up, and getting power restored,” said one Los Alamos official. One woman in La Puebla said the wind tore her porch off her house, damaged her cars, and made her roof cave in.
The Agricultural Center in Taos County has turned into a 24-hour emergency shelter for anyone who needs it.
“Right now, we set up about 25 cots and we have the ability to go up to about 125,” said Bobby Lucero, Emergency Management Director for Taos County. “So we’re hoping that if they need to come, we’re open arms, and we’ll take them in.”
“When we have a wind event and an emergency situation, everybody pulls together. And that’s, that is the magic in these small towns,” said Ralph.
As of about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, one person had shown up to the Taos County Emergency Shelter. The shelter plans to stay open for about a week but can stay open longer if needed. The Red Cross is also on standby.
The Red Cross is also helping provide emergency shelter to people in Los Alamos County. Anyone who needs it should call the county’s emergency management specialist at 505-709-0436.