Extremely high winds severely reduce visibility along East Crossroads near U.S. 285. Mark Wilson Photos
Heavy winds Wednesday took a toll on Chaves County.
Wind speeds approached 60 mph in some areas, which impacted driving conditions throughout the day.
State Road 2 was closed for several hours starting at 11:30 a.m. after dust storms caused four accidents, and police had to slow traffic on the Relief Route after poor visibility led to an accident.
New Mexico State Police Capt. Dina Orozco said she believed all five accidents were without injury and were within about a one-hour time period.
“Any time you get that much dust blowing across the highway, that can be pretty bad,” said Lt. Britt Snyder of Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, which assisted State Police with traffic control. “Given that many wrecks, this would definitely be one of our worst dust days, absolutely. … And things are just so dry out there.”
Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said about 300 customers were without power Wednesday due to wind. He said all but four customers had power restored by 6:30 p.m.