By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun
Weather conditions are expected to be more favorable to motorists and travelers, as the storm systems move out of New Mexico, said a National Weather Service official.
Today, no snow was expected, and temperatures were to level out with highs reaching the mid-40s and lows falling to the 20s.
In the meantime, for the second weekend in a row, snow and icy conditions meant a busy weekend for local agencies.
About five 1/2 inches of snow were reported in Tucumcari on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
“The bulk of the snow fell early Saturday morning,” said meteorologist Jonathan Suk.
“There were winds of 28 miles per hour during the storm causing poor viability and drifting snow.”
The weather produced some slick road conditions on I-40 and there were 11 accidents reported, according to New Mexico State Police officials.
Only two of the reported 11 accidents resulted in injuries, said New Mexico State Police Lt. Cleo Baker.
There were no fatalities, Baker said.
“Some of the accidents that were reported involved drivers that just slid off the road and were stuck,” Baker said. “This was an average weekend as far as bad weather is concerned.”
The state police were not the only ones braving the slick road conditions to assist motorists.
The Tucumcari Fire Department’s ambulances responded to numerous accident calls along I-40.
“There were a lot of accidents that we worked early Saturday morning.” said Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry. “It was a busy morning. But by the afternoon, it had calmed down with the ice melting on the roads.”
Helping to get motorists back on the road or into town was Pinky’s Towing of Tucumcari.
In a 12- hour span there were 42 calls for service, including three involving semis, said Pinky’s owner, Linda Unruh.
“Many of the calls involved vehicles that had hit black ice,” Unruh said.