The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Winds blamed for derailment; thousands still without power

Between Editions: March 13


March 13, 2019

Courtesy photo by Franklin Mcasland

Officials said no one was seriously injured in the train derailment near Logan.

High winds — including gusts in the 70-mph range — are being blamed for a Union Pacific train being blown "off its tracks, off a train trestle and down into a deep ravine" near Logan in Quay County, State Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, said in a news release.

Woods said no one was injured in the derailment and the cars were empty of cargo and did not carry any hazardous material.

"This is a reminder that we cannot take the high winds for granted and we all need to take precautions when traveling throughout New Mexico," Woods said in the news release.

"Perhaps that might mean changing our travel plans and waiting for the winds to subside."

Wind gusts were reported as high as 77 mph in the area on Wednesday. KVII-TV weather stations reported sustained winds above 50 mph throughout the region. They had gusts as high as 77 mph just north of Clovis and 71 mph at Ute Lake in Quay County.

The trestle where the cars were blown from spans the Canadian river around 40 miles north of I-40 and Tucumcari.

Kevin Wilson

A downed street intersection sign lays on the sidewalk near its original location at the intersection of Pile and 14th streets.

Xcel Energy was reporting about 40,000 customers were without power Wednesday afternoon, mostly because of gusting winds across Texas and New Mexico.

"This includes all of Canadian, Vega and Cactus (in the Texas Panhandle)," Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves wrote in a news release.

"We have reports of poles and wires down across the region, and we have restoration efforts under way at close to 850 locations."

In Clovis, Xcel reported about 2,500 customers were without power at 9 p.m.

About 175 Xcel customers in Portales were without power. City officials there said they were without telephone service much of the day, though it had been restored before offices closed for the day.

Thursday's forecast called for winds to be 10- to 20-mph with high temperatures in the upper 40s.


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