Tornado claims life of Clovis woman

By Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers Heleneta Blevins died the way she lived — surrounded by what she held most dear, her family. The 90-year-old Clovis resident passed away in her eldest son’s home around 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to family members who removed her from a Clovis hospital so she could be near family […]

FEMA arrives to assess damage

By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers It could take up to a month to decide if Curry County government agencies and residents qualify for federal aid, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said. FEMA officials arrived in New Mexico on Tuesday to assess the damage left by a string of tornadoes that devastated areas of Quay, Roosevelt […]

Tornado claims life

By Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers A 90-year-old woman injured in Friday’s tornado died this morning. Heleneta Blevins passed at 4:50 a.m. in her eldest son’s home, according to her eldest son, Bob Blevins. A local hospice provided services, he said. Her death marks the first tornado fatality in Clovis’ 100-year history, according to Clovis […]

Disaster strikes dairy

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Roosevelt County’s Mike Mitchell lost a new dairy operation and about 175 cows in Friday’s tornado, but quick thinking allowed him to escape with his life. Mitchell said he arrived Friday at the Grande Vida Dairy about nine miles east of Portales a little while before the storm hit. […]

Clovis damage estimates skyrocket

By Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers Her eyes were bloodshot. Dirt was smeared across her T-shirt. But Conrada Figueroa pressed on. She and her family chipped away remnants of Friday’s tornado from her yard — sweeping debris into piles, pushing tree limbs into a corner. This was Monday’s story: A community continued to grapple with […]

Volunteers join cleanup efforts

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The sound of backhoes pushing mountains of rubble and voices shouting to one another filled the air of a neighborhood south of Brady Avenue on Monday afternoon as hundreds of volunteers cleaned up decimated homes and debris-cluttered streets in the aftermath of Friday’s tornado. The most damaging tornado in Curry […]

Clovis shelter harboring animals displaced by storm

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Devastation wrought by Friday’s tornado didn’t just affect human residents. Dozens of pets found themselves on their own when fences blew down and homes were ripped apart. Animal control officers have been in the hardest hit areas trying to remove animals that are injured or are showing signs of aggression, […]

Community reaches out to storm victims

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Standing watch at one of several entry points to the devastated area south of Clovis, Sgts. Danny Nunez and James Montgomery of the Clovis National Guard unit said they never expected to serve their community in a disaster like the one that struck Friday. Three hours into their duties, Nunez […]

Clovis tornado measures EF2 on scale

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom Newspapers Officials with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque are using an “Enhanced Fujita Scale,” or the EF, to categorize the strength of Friday’s tornadoes. The scale ranges from EF0 — winds 65 mph to 85 mph — to EF5, or winds in excess of 200 mph. Officials estimated Friday’s Clovis […]

Residents staggered by enormity of damage

By Marlena Hartz : CNJ staff writer CLOVIS — Throngs of Clovis residents waded through tatters of their lives Saturday as officials plodded to piece together a broken town. Casey and Alanda LeClear stood with their hands clasped in their Brady Avenue yard. Behind them, family members heaved wooden beams, insulation and shingles from their […]

Tornado coverage made for long night

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor As I rolled down my street, east of Portales a little after 6 a.m. Saturday, the sky was getting bright to the east with just a hint of a cloud line on the horizon. The last time I had looked toward Clovis, about 3 a.m., the sky was dark […]

Portales residents asked to conserve water, in wake of tornado

PNT Staff Report Portales residents are being asked to conserve water after a tornado snapped poles and cut off electricity to most of the city’s well field east of town, according to a press release from the Portales Police Department. The tornado, apparently the same one that struck Clovis, passed through the well field located […]

Tornado slams Clovis

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Freedom Newspapers The worst tornado in Clovis’ history struck the city’s southeast side Friday night, leaving more than a dozen injured and possibly hundreds of homes damaged. No deaths were reported, but officials said at least three patients at Plains Regional Medical Center were listed in critical condition. Rescue workers were still searching storm-ravaged homes […]

Shelters available if necessary for weather

PNT Staff According to Capt. Ray Chambers of the Eastern New Mexico University Police Department, members of the community will be able to seek shelter in Greyhound Arena in the event that a tornado reaches the area. “We will have that available if that (tornado) occurs,” Chambers said. The public is encouraged to stay in […]

Storm spotter training offered to amateur weather buffs

By Andy Jackson Steve Summers has been a storm spotter for 12 years. Although he’s never seen one up close or heard the signature freight train sound, he is well aware of the damage they can do. The director of the Clovis Municipal Airport, Summers is one of 20 storm spotters in Curry County. “You […]

New emergency management coordinator settling in

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Portales residents must brace for severe weather, because the elements in the area offer a breeding ground for tornados. Roosevelt County residents have already received their first dangerous encounter when a tornado warning was issued on Monday night during a hail storm. There was golf-sized hail reported from the […]

Spring weather brings tornado risk

By David Irvin Gusting winds that roared across the plains Tuesday at up to 63 mph and packed enough punch to down power lines is an early indication of the volatile weather that accompanies spring in eastern New Mexico. However, National Weather Service officials said it’s too early to tell what kind of weather the […]

Area put under ‘gustnado’ warning

Freedom Newspapers Roosevelt and Curry counties were under a “gustnado” advisory Wednesday night, weather officials said, but no major damage was reported. A gustnado is weaker than a tornado, though residents were urged to stay indoors during the advisory, said Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos. Initially the National Weather Service issued a tornado […]

City prepares for emergencies

Tony Parra Emergency alert sirens and spreading the news via media outlets are two top priorities for local officials if a tornado swept through the Portales vicinity. Planning for a tornado, flood or any other emergencies situations were topics of discussion at an emergency planning meeting on Thursday at the Portales city hall. At the […]

Residents seek safety tips to prepare for severe weather

Mike Linn Residents of Portales have made frequent calls to city hall over the past two weeks, probing city officials about safety measures during turbulent weather patterns. Many of the questions involve the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch, and what it means when six strategically-placed sirens sound throughout the city. The […]