FGGAM JUST RECEIVED THIS NEWS RELEASE:
I-40 to Reopen in Stages Starting this Morning
Santa Fe, NM – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) announced this morning that Interstate 40 is reopening in the eastbound direction to the Texas state line. The opening will occur in phases so that traffic can be controlled and cleared in an orderly manner. Crews from NMDOT worked throughout the night in order to have I40 reopened this morning.
Santa Rosa and Tucumcari have already been reopened to travelers. Moriarty will open at 9:00 a.m., and Albuquerque will open at 9:30 a.m.
NMDOT urges drivers to use caution when traveling on the roadways. Some snow packed and icy conditions still exist throughout the state, especially in the southeast region. Crews are still out plowing and spreading salt and cinder to make roadways safe for travel.
In addition, to help make further progress on the snow in the southeast, heavy equipment has been sent from the northern part of the state to the Roswell area to help reopen U.S. 285. Crews will continue working throughout the day to make progress on removing the snow.
Both Texas and Oklahoma had shut down I-40 travel across their states on Sunday. New Mexico kept I40 closed as well, until conditions improved.
Motorists should check www.NMRoads.com or dial 511 for the latest conditions in their area before traveling.
We are keeping an eye on this for you: We have reports that I-40 could open up sometime this morning: More Here From KOB TV and we have this report from KRQE: More Here
We have the Martin Rivera family from Artesia, NM awaiting word on the opening of I-40, as their son has a doctors appointment today in Albuquerque. Many folks travel to Albuquerque from the rural areas for medical care. Please be safe and let us all pray for the road crews.
U.S. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE, NM:
Historic December 26-27, 2015 Blizzard Takeaways:
Widespread 12-24″ snowfall totals central and eastern New Mexico, with snow drifts 4-10 feet reported from the east slopes of the Sandia and Manzano mountains east to the NM/TX line.
Nearly 450 miles of I-40 and U.S. 285 have been closed within NM for 12+ hours. I-40 between Albuquerque and Amarillo remains closed.
Greatest 1-Day Snowfall record Roswell was 11.5″ back on February 5, 1988. Present indications are that has been shattered with latest reports of 13-15 inches.
Greatest 1-Day Snowfall record 13N Clovis (NMSU Ag station) is 12″ back on February 4, 1956. It will be very close with snowfall reports currently 10-13 inches.
11.5″ at Socorro (Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque) tied for their 3rd snowiest 1-day on record. The last time Socorro had >12″ in a single day was back on December 15, 1984 when 13.5″ was measured.
Governor Susana Martinez Declares State of Emergency in Response to Statewide Snow Storm
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Governor Susana Martinez declared a State of Emergency in response to the massive statewide snow storm that continues to impact the entire state. In some parts of New Mexico, more than 16 inches of snow has fallen with drifts as high as eight feet, making roads impassable in several counties. High winds and blowing snow have led to extremely dangerous and life-threatening conditions in multiple counties. In addition to declaring a state of emergency today, the Governor has directed all resources to help communities that have been impacted.
“This is a dire situation, especially the eastern half of the state where the storm has hit hardest and continues to dump snow,” Governor Susana Martinez said. “We monitored the situation throughout the night and activated the National Guard to assist stranded motorists. We have a lot of resources on the ground to clear our roads, as well as conduct search and rescue operations. I ask New Mexicans to please stay off the roads until the conditions improve.”
Governor Martinez continued, “Law enforcement and emergency response personnel will continue to work around the clock to find and rescue stranded motorists. I ask everyone to keep their fellow New Mexicans in their thoughts and prayers as the storm passes.”
Blizzard conditions are expected to continue east of I-25, with an additional six to 10 inches of snow expected across east central and southeast areas along and east of the Pecos River.
Governor Susana Martinez, law enforcement, and state emergency personnel are still pleading for absolutely no travel in the 18 hardest-hit counties until weather conditions improve. They are: Colfax, Union, Harding, Mora, San Miguel, Quay, Guadalupe, Torrance, De Baca, Roosevelt, Curry, Lincoln, Chavez, Lea, Eddy, Otero, Socorro, and Santa Fe counties.
In those counties, emergency personnel will actively try to keep people off roadways and in their homes. Driving is strongly discouraged throughout the rest of the state.
Yesterday, Governor Martinez announced that she put the New Mexico National Guard on standby to respond to the winter storm. In addition, the Governor ordered the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to work closely together and prepare for the storm to ensure the safety of New Mexicans.
Homeland Security and Emergency Management is also assisting in communities that are heavily impacted by this storm. In addition, leadership continues to stay in contact with local emergency managers as this storm passes, and will continue to stay in contact as the storm leaves the state. The National Guard has units around the state and is responding where they are needed.
The Governor’s Executive Order, which declares a state of emergency, will enable counties to order and pay for additional resources needed to help with this crisis. The full text of the Governor’s executive order declaring a state of emergency is available below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2015-021
DECLARING AN EMERGENCY THROUGHOUT NEW MEXICO DUE TO SEVERE WINTER STORMS AND FREEZING TEMPERATURES
WHEREAS, severe winter storms and freezing temperatures beginning December 26, 2015, have caused major disruption to public infrastructure and services which threatens the health, safety and welfare of communities throughout New Mexico;
WHEREAS, severe winter storms have caused extreme disruption to the high-traffic volume of the Interstate, U.S. and state highway systems;
WHEREAS, severe winter storms have interrupted highway traffic throughout New Mexico having a direct impact on local and national commerce;
WHEREAS, severe winter storms have caused a high demand for emergency shelters, emergency response agency staffing and resources for displaced persons statewide;
WHEREAS, severe winter storms have caused life threatening conditions to exist for travelers stranded by storm conditions throughout New Mexico;
WHEREAS, this emergency is of such magnitude to be beyond local control and requires the resources of the State, such that, emergency funding must be in place, sufficient and available, to allow the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to respond quickly and efficiently to the immediate needs of communities throughout New Mexico in order to minimize economic or physical harm and to take the action necessary to protect the public health, safety, welfare and property.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Susana Martinez, Governor of the State of New Mexico, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of New Mexico do hereby declare a state of emergency to exist throughout New Mexico due to the effects of severe winter storms.
I DIRECT the Department of Finance and Administration to make available emergency financial resources in an amount up to but not to exceed seven hundred and fifty thousand ($750,000) to the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in accordance with NMSA 1978, Sections 12-11-23 through 12-11-25. The funds shall be expended for resources and services necessary to avoid and minimize economic or physical harm until the situation becomes stabilized and again under local self-support and control; on a temporary, emergency basis for lodging, sheltering, health care, food, any transportation or shipping necessary to protect lives or public property; or for any other action necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare and property. The funds shall be paid out upon warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration upon vouchers approved by the Governor or the Governor’s Authorized Representative.
I FURTHER DIRECT the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to coordinate all requests for assistance and responses to such requests under the authority of and as determined by the Governor and her Authorized Representative and to request such aid and assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as may be appropriate. In addition to such other eligibility criteria as may be established by the Governor and her Authorized Representative, applicants requesting financial assistance from the State for necessary action taken in response to the emergency shall be required to demonstrate that the cost of the necessary action exceeds their available resources, as determined based upon criteria developed in conjunction with the State agencies (if any) with financial and budgetary oversight responsibilities for the applicant.
I FURTHER DIRECT the Adjutant General to order into service any elements of the New Mexico National Guard as are or may be needed to provide military support to civil authorities as needed for this emergency. This action is pursuant to and in accordance with NMSA 1978, Sections 20-1-1 through 20-1-8, NMSA 1978, Sections 20-2-1 through 20-2-8, and NMSA 1978, Sections 20-4-1 through 20-4-14. Such emergency assistance shall be provided during the period of need at the discretion of the Governor’s Authorized Representative.
I FURTHER DIRECT all Cabinet Departments and agencies of the State of New Mexico under gubernatorial control to provide any assistance that may be required by the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management or by the State Emergency Operations Center under the authority of the Governor’s Authorized Representative.
THIS ORDER supersedes any other previous orders, proclamations, or directives in conflict. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until such time as the Governor rescinds it.
SIGNED AT THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE THIS
27TH DAY OF DECEMBER 2015.
WITNESS MY HAND AND THE GREAT
SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO.
BRADLEY D. WINTER
SECRETARY OF STATE