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Poor driving conditions reported on NM highways; ice in Dakotas could stay awhile

Drivers make their way cautiously along The Old Las Vegas highway.(AP Photo/The Santa Fe New Mexican, Clyde Mueller)

The Associated Press

1/14/2013

LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Difficult driving conditions due to winter weather are reported on parts of Interstate 25 and some other highways in northeastern New Mexico, while highway spokesmen in the Dakotas said icy conditions there could stay awhile.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation says I-25 between Bernal and Raton is snow packed and icy.

Other highways with difficult driving conditions include U.S. 64 west of Cimarron, State Route 104 between Las Vegas and Tucumcari and New Mexico 434 between Mora and Black Lake.

Meanwhile, highway officials in North and South Dakota say roads could remain icy for several days following the latest blast of winter weather.

Although snow totals were less than expected in some areas, the storm was preceded by freezing rain and drizzle that put a coating of ice on roads. And frigid temperatures are forecast for the next several days.

Bruce Nord, maintenance supervisor for the North Dakota Department of Transportation, says wind gusts make it difficult to keep sand and salt on the road.

Nord and Fred Moninger, a highway maintenance worker in Rapid City, S.D., say that salt begins to lose its effectiveness in bitterly cold weather.

Says Nord, "That ice is going to be there for a while."

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