Winter storm wreaking havoc on NM roads

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A day after blizzard conditions shut down much of northeastern New Mexico, state highway officials say they are mopping up and getting major thoroughfares reopened.

Paul Gray with the New Mexico highway department says officials have reopened Interstate 25 between Las Vegas and the Colorado line. He said highway crews had to clear drifts as high as 5 feet in some areas between Wagon Mound and Springer.

White out conditions from Las Vegas to Raton forced state police to shut the road down early Monday leaving people to wait it out in Las Vegas while the storm passed and roads were cleared.

Not only road crews have to clear the highway from snow and ice, state police and the National Guard had to clear I-25 from some cars that got stuck in the white out.

Car and semis have been steadily streaming onto I-25 after hours of waiting and waiting.

Hotels in Las Vegas filled up Monday night with drivers who had no where to go.

Now the roads are open but that doesn't mean everyone is in the clear.

State police are telling drivers to play it safe. There may still be some slick spots on the interstate.

Interstate 40 has also been reopened, although conditions are still icy and snowpacked. And officials say they are working to clear secondary roads.

"We are just kind of mopping up and things are starting to move," Gray said.

In far northeastern New Mexico, officials say a few motorists are still stranded on roads that had drifts up to 7 feet.

State police spokesman Robert McDonald says the only serious accident he knows of was late Monday on U.S. Route 60/84 east of Melrose where authorities say a head-on collision between a pickup truck and a car killed four people and injured two others.