High Winds Bring Power Outages, Fires
Crews Restore Power To 21,000
POSTED: 12:16 pm MDT March 18, 2012
UPDATED: 4:30 pm MDT March 18, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A high wind warning continues until 8 p.m. for much of New Mexico, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Grants, Raton, Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Ruidoso, Alamogordo, Las Cruces, Deming and Lordsburg. Winds will gust up to 60 mph, creating areas of blowing dust, dangerous crosswinds and extreme fire danger.
PNM has restored power to about 21,000 around Albuquerque. Currently, 10,543 customers have no power, according to PNM. If you see a downed power line, stay far away. Avoid low hanging lines. Call 911 and PNM immediately.
To report a power outage, call 1-888-DIAL-PNM.
The wind ripped a power line off a transformer near Aztec and Colorado in northeast Albuquerque.
"I live across the street and I saw it through my window and a wire ripped out of the transformer. I saw a large blue spark and then heard an arcing sound," neighbor John Stiker said.
The downed lines started a small fire, but crews were able to douse the flames quickly. No homes were damaged.
Later in the day, a small brush fire sparked near Tramway Lane. A wooden fence near a house caught fire, but crews put it out before it reached the house.
High winds carried that fire for more than an acre before fire crews got a handle on it.
Crews are mopping up Wind Canyon Fire west of Silver City at this time. No structures were damaged. Some smoke is still visible. At last check, the fire was around seven acres in size.
A wind advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. for areas including Tucumcari and Roswell. Winds will gust up to 50 mph there.
The wind has forced the closure of several roads:
US 180 from mile marker 127 to mile marker 164 is closed because of high winds with low visibility due to blowing dust.
NM 26 is closed due to zero visibility due to high winds and blowing dust.
NM 11 from mile marker 22 to mile marker 34 is closed because of high winds and low visibility due to blowing dust.
A winter storm warning will be in effect through Monday for areas including Gallup, the Chuska Mountains, Dulce, Chama, Los Alamos, Quemado and Glenwood. Three to five inches of snow is expected in those areas.
A winter weather advisory is in effect through Monday for areas including Farmington, Cuba, Pecos, Red River, and Taos for snow and blowing snow.