By Christina Calloway and Emily Crowe
CMI staff writers
Portales High School Junior Darin Bonem said he wasn’t going to let the snow in Portales keep him from working up a sweat.
With school canceled for nearly everyone in the area from the weekend’s weather, Bonem headed to the gym early Monday afternoon to work out his chest and biceps.
“I just told myself I’m not going to let the weather stop me today,” said the PHS football and baseball player. “Every day I have to get stronger.”
But not everyone was ready to test the roads Monday.
Despite area roads being open, officials were still cautioning area residents to stay home Monday after the weekend weather delivered seven-plus inches to the area, leaving road conditions treacherous.
There was one weather-related death in the region, which occurred Friday when a 4-year-old was killed in a Roosevelt County automobile accident.
Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders said there were 11 car accidents over the weekend in Clovis, though only two of those involved injuries. The Curry County Sheriff’s Office investigated five weather-related crashes, and all were without injuries, according to Undersheriff Wesley Waller.
Roosevelt County Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger said Saturday and Sunday was a change from Friday’s road conditions.
Wattenbarger said icy roads caught many people off guard, resulting in more than 40 automobile accidents in the county.
Wattenbarger said for the most part he saw people exercising caution Monday as roads continued to improve. He is most concerned that low temperatures in the night and early morning hours will refreeze the roads that have moisture on them.
“I would just say again, especially if roads start to freeze, if you absolutely don’t need to travel, don’t travel,” Wattenbarger said. “The roads will get slick again (Monday night), don’t chance it.”
Clovis Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said regardless of the bells and whistles on a vehicle, nothing will help overcome lack of traction on ice.
“If a motorist has to be out, they need to drive very slowly and allow plenty of time to get to their destination,” he said. “Intersections are the most dangerous areas to worry about stopping.”
Reduced speeds, as well as snow chains on drive tires, are highly recommended for added traction, Whitney said.
Roommates Breanna Rodriguez and Kaylee Crawford, both Clovis Community College students, spent the wintery weekend relaxing and taking advantage of the snow.
“I stayed home and cleaned the house Friday, then made stew,” said Rodriguez. “Sunday I slept all day.”
“We like the cold, so basically we were just completely content,” added Crawford. “We did play outside. It was fun.”
Madeline Love of Floyd said the snow allowed for her and her family to bond.
“We built a snowman (Sunday), we definitely did hot chocolate,” said the 21-year-old personal trainer. “I liked being kept at home and being able to spend time with my family.”
Meteorologist Chris Luckett with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque said there will be some areas of freezing fog today in the early morning throughout both counties but said weather conditions should be calm for the next few days.
“The lows (today) will be in the upper teens,” Luckett said.
He added that lows for the rest of the week should be in the low 20s.