Blizzard skips Amarillo but still limits travel farther north
Tue, 20 Dec 2011 22:06:19 GMT —
Both of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and parts of New Mexico saw some bitter winter weather both Monday night and Tuesday. Even though many of the roads originally closed in and around the Amarillo area have been cleared and reopened, folks to the north were hit by the storm much harder and had to wait a little longer before more of their roads became passable once again.
"There's some areas in the Panhandle that we're recommending that you don't travel," said Texas Department of Public Safety, Trooper Gabriel Medrano. "Of course, those are the closed roads and areas that were affected you know, north and west of Amarillo."
Starting Monday night, several agencies began shutting roads down leading out of Amarillo like westbound I-40 near Hope Road, US 287 northbound out of Amarillo, US 385 north of Vega and FM 1062 near Bushland. But by mid afternoon Tuesday, I-40 was the only one of those that had been completely reopened.
"We're going to be out there and we're going to be responding to anybody, any stranded motorist or anybody involved in a crash on the highways," said Trooper Medrano.
Although the Amarillo area did receive about one to two inches of snow and the roads were slick early Tuesday morning, many folks were originally expecting much worse, like a full-on blizzard. But if it was a blizzard you wanted, you were going to have to travel a little bit more north to find it, like Guymon for example where they saw about six inches of snowfall.
"Everything is covered in snow and it started yesterday afternoon and has been pretty much nonstop," said Guymon Chief of Police, Eddie Adamson.
Adamson said it was the blowing snow that became such a dangerous factor for drivers, causing white-outs on the roads and even building drifts as high at 12 inches. Those were just a few reasons Texas County in Oklahoma shut down all highways by 8:00 p.m. Monday night.
"All the roads, all the highways, the streets here in town, We closed any of those just completely," said Adamson.
Other places further north and west of Amarillo saw their fair share of the white stuff as well -- Kenton, Oklahoma saw ten inches of snow and Clayton, New Mexico got a little more than a foot!
So, if you thought the blizzard was a hoax -- it wasn't. It just wasn't in Amarillo and it seems the places it did hit, didn't want it "there" either.
"I think everyone would enjoy a white Christmas but not necessarily at the level we're having right now," said Adamson.
For a more complete list of road closures and school delays/cancellations, click here.