High winds and a snow squall tore through Corrales on Wednesday afternoon, downing tree branches and power lines and causing power outages in the area. No injuries were reported by Corrales public safety officials.
The winds kicked up late Wednesday morning and hit their peak in the early part of the afternoon. That was followed by a snow squall that didn’t leave any accumulation, but limited visibility.
A wind gust of 77 mph was reported in Bernalillo, while a gust of 85 mph was reported at the airport in Santa Fe, believed to be a record.
It was a busy day for Corrales Fire Chief Anthony Martinez and his crew.
“We were slammed,” he said the morning after the storm. “There were times I was looking for other resources … We were busy but we got everything covered.”
Martinez said just four firefighters were on duty that day, and for a time they were getting calls every few minutes. Between 12:30 and 12:58 p.m., for example, they got calls for a tree falling on a vehicle, a residential fire alarm, a low hanging power line and a downed tree.
The biggest emergency was a call of a double downed power line on Applewood Road. While that was mostly PNM’s problem, the fire department was responsible for securing the road.
In that case, Martinez had to call in reinforcements. The chief got some help from Animal Services to help stop traffic.
“The whole objective is to be there to protect life and safety,” the chief said.
He said there were multiple calls of downed tree limbs and uprooted trees on private property. In one case, a limb fell on a power line that leads to a home and it ripped the electric box off the wall, he said.
PNM reported power outages throughout the area, though that didn’t seems to be a problem for much of Corrales. At least two traffic lights on Alameda near Corrales Road were out for some time, requiring motorists to treat the intersections as four-way stop signs.
The Corrales Fire Department didn’t escape the storm. For the second time in nine months, an adobe wall on the sound side of the station fell down, Chief Martinez said.
Public Works Director Michael Chavez said his department responded to multiple calls to remove tree branches from roadways, but it was an otherwise uneventful day.
Police Chief Victor Mangiacapra said officers weren’t too taxed by the storm. The only weather related incident they responded to was a report of a tree branch falling on the cars of lunchtime diners at Indigo Crow.
“Nobody was hurt, that’s the important thing,” he said.