Bad Winter Weather in NM

News photo of stopped traffic on I-40

This is an email I sent to friends and family, so some may have already seen it.

We hope everyone has a Happy New Year, don’t know where we will be!
Finally we have experienced bad winter weather.  We were in Liberal, KS last night and according to the weather forecast online and TV, Albuquerque wasn’t supposed to be hit by the snow and wind until tonight.  WRONG!!!
We left Santa Rosa, NM at 12:00 pm and immediately had bad wind and saw clouds ahead.  Within 30 minutes, the temperature dropped 15-20o, 1 degree per minute, it seemed.  The snow started at 12:30 and got worse and was sticking and accumulating.  Amazing!!  We were going slow, but came to a stop at 12:40 p.m.  We could see trucks stalled or crashed ahead on the hill ahead.  We waited and watched for 25 minutes (seemed much longer); saw snow plows going east and a policeman ahead of us.  (Too busy being worried and wondering what to do to take pictures.)
It looked bad, so we went across the median and headed back east to Santa Rosa, 50 miles.  It looked bleak at one point when the freeway stopped in that direction.  Luckily, we were able to get around the trucks (probably because the snow plow had been through and dropped gravel) whose wheels were spinning or had stopped to put on chains .  We were in Santa Rosa at 2:00 p.m.  There were still hotel rooms available, thankfully.  One hotel, however had raised it’s price by $18 within the 30 minutes of our call and arrival, hmmmm, gouging??
The Interstate was officially closed at 4 p.m., but we are sure it was backed up since 1 p.m.  Santa Rosa is busy!  Hotels and restaurants are full.  There is no snow accumulation, yet, but more snow is predicted.  We’ll be watching the weather closely; want to be in Flagstaff tomorrow night, but who knows.
Well we knew that travel in the winter is unpredictable.  Actually our trip east to Nebraska and time spent there was very mild, so guess Mother Nature caught up with us!
I’ve attached a news article about New Mexico road and weather conditions.
http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/environment/nasty-winter-storm-punishing-new-mexico
Hope everyone else has good weather for New Years, Love to all. Cheryl and Jim

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