Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Farmers, Ski Areas To Reap Benefits.

Byline: Fritz Thompson and Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writers

*Slick roads blamed for deaths of four on New Mexico highways

A mixed bag of snowy, rainy, blustery weather was loosed on New Mexico beginning on Christmas, leaving behind four deaths, skidding motorists, pleased skiers, sort-of-glad ranchers and more than a handful of frustrated travelers.

The lingering storm was apparently headed out of state Tuesday night.

Highway closures were the principal legacy of the storm, which pounded the eastern plains in particular and the mountains north and south in general, dumping up to a foot of snow in some places.

"It took me an hour to drive 38 miles to work this morning," Roosevelt County Sheriff C.D. Newberry said at midafternoon Tuesday. "Most of the highways out of Portales are slick and icy, but I've seen some traffic on them. You can go if you go about 35 miles an hour."

The town of Cowles, in San Miguel County at the edge of the Pecos Wilderness, received 16 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow shut down state offices Tuesday, as well as some county operations.

The snow also forced the postponement of Tuesday night's New Mexico Scorpions hockey game in Albuquerque to Thursday. …

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