Snow closes area schools

QCS photo: Steve Hansen Snow crowns desert cactus and brush in Tucumcari.

QCS photo: Steve Hansen
Snow crowns desert cactus and brush in Tucumcari.

By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor

Quay County got through the weekend’s cold snap and snowstorms with minimal injury or damage.

Plummeting temperatures on Thursday gave way to snowstorms, wind and occasional fog that made roads hazardous and caused school closings and delays. The cold weather broke on Tuesday and snow started disappearing as temperatures reached the mid-40s.

Students in House and San Jon got an extra day off in an already short week on Monday as classes were called off because of snowfall that continued into late Monday morning. Logan schools delayed classes for two hours, starting the school day at 10 a.m.

Tucumcari schools held their scheduled Friday classes. No snow fell in the city of Tucumcari on Thursday night, even though temperatures dropped to the low 20s. Tucumcari, like the other county school districts, is usually on four-day weeks but will sometimes hold classes on Friday to meet state school day requirements.

Mesalands Community College started its fall break on Monday and so missed no days of classes due to the storm.

State Department of Transportation crews spent the weekend plowing, cindering and sanding key routes through the county, especially Interstate 40. While no roads were closed, driving on all roads in the county ranged from “difficult” to “fair” due to packed snow, icy roadways and reduced visibility due to falling snow and fog. NMDOT and the National Weather Service advised people to drive only if they had to.

Tucumcari Fire Chief Larry Rigdon and County Fire Marshal Donald Adams said the city and county enjoyed a relatively quiet weekend despite the storms. Both reported only a few calls related to snow and ice, and nothing serious.

“People stayed alert,” Adams said.

Snowfall in the county ranged from a half-inch reported at one location near Tucumcari, to 7.5 inches reported in San Jon, according to the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque website. Other county locations reported three or four inches of snow over the weekend, the weather service reported.

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