ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Severe winds created dramatic situations in New Mexico Tuesday prompting health alerts due to dust as well as creating difficult driving conditions and wildfire flare-ups.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation is warning drivers in Hidalgo County to slow down due to high winds and blowing dust in the area.
The National Weather Service says there could be wind gusts of up to 70 mph Tuesday.
Transportation officials say zero visibility is possible in some parts of the county, especially in the Lordsburg area. Severe driving conditions were issued for the area as NMSP issued a notice of poor visibility on I-10 between mile markers 6 and 12, causing the Interstate to be shut down intermittently.
Meanwhile, the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department’s Air Quality Program is issuing a health alert for people with respiratory conditions.
“When it blows in your face, you can’t breathe, and it gets in your teeth and your hair,” said Renee Rubalcaba, a teacher and coach at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. The parking lot became the scene of a dust storm.
Crews also worked along Atrisco Vista Boulevard as tumbleweeds took over causing delays for drivers.
Health officials say high winds may cause elevated levels of particulate matter and bother people with asthma, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
The alert is in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday.