Tucumcari’s first major snow storm of the year caused road closures and stranded some motorists who could not find hotel rooms for the night.
The Artic blast which dipped into New Mexico dumped about about 10 inches of snow in the Tucumcari area, said Keith Henderson, Quay County Emergency Manager.
The National Weather Service extended its Friday winter storm warning by six hours and predicted that the warning would last through midnight.
Areas such as Logan and Amistad were also to be affected by a light snow late into the night.
As of 11 a.m. Saturday, Interstate 40 remained closed from Santa Rosa to the Texas border , according the state's Web site, nmroads.com.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Tucumcari Recreation Center where about 80 people were outfitted with sleeping bags for the night, said Brian Sapp, Roosevelt County Disaster Action Team Captain.
There were no serious accidents reported or fatalities, said officials from the New Mexico State Police and Tucumcari Police Department.
“There hasn’t been anything too serious,” said NMSP Lt. Cleo Baker.
On Friday afternoon, a semi tractor slid, turned over and blocked one lane of State Road 209 on the cap, near the Melrose exit, Baker said. “It took about two hours to get him righted and off the road,” Baker said. “The driver was complaining of back injuries.”
Baker said there were numerous vehicles that slid off the road and hit guard rails or went off the road, but no serious accidents were reported, Baker said.
Amarillo, Texas, was hammered by the storm which also created difficulties in Vega, Texas, along I-40 corridor. So Texas officials asked the NMSP to keep motorists off the interstate and from coming into Amarillo, Baker said.
In Tucumcari, where visibility was sometimes limited to three blocks, there was an accident at Second and Main streets, said Tucumcari Police Detective Kim Crockett.
The injuries were not life-threatening, Crockett said.
I-40 from Tucumcari to Amarillo was closed at about 11:30 a.m. Friday and was to remain closed until sometime this morning, Crockett said.
“They’ll reassess it in the morning (today), and it’s pretty much up to Mother Nature,” Crockett said.
Quay County and Tucumcari city government offices were closed because of the storm.
And some businesses such as Wells Fargo bank closed its doors at 2 pm. Friday because of the weather, according to notices posted on its doors.