Dangerous winds visit Eastern NM

Photo courtesy of the NM Senate Republican Office

The Eastern New Mexico region sustained severe winds on March 13 with winds blowing at 50 mph with gusts up to 80 mph.

The powerful winds caused property damage and power outages to most of the region.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning Tuesday for the Roosevelt, Curry, and De Baca counties that afternoon.

Xcel Energy reported on their Facebook page that about 2,500 customers in Clovis and 175 customers in Portales went without power on Wednesday. Xcel later reported that all customers had restored power by Saturday.

The Lubbock Avalanche Journal reported that Xcel Energy confirmed on March 14 that a line worker died on March 13 while working to restore power in Hereford, Texas, causing Eastern New Mexico University to close the campus for the day.

The Eastern New Mexico News reported that the Portales Police Department handled 14 weather-related calls, while Clovis police had 16 calls for downed power lines.

According to State Police Officer Ray Wilson, New Mexico State Police handled about 39 crashes state-wide. Of those, nine were listed as injury crashes, and 30 were listed as non-injury crashes. He reported that none that he knows of involved fatalities. State police also dealt with many blown over semi-trucks, U-Haul trailers, and RVs on highways.

In addition to responding to vehicle accidents, state police also responded to a train derailment in Logan. Union Pacific Railroad reported that approximately 22 rail cars had derailed, but nobody was injured.

State Police said the high winds in the area were believed to be a contributing factor in the incident.

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