The Santa Fe New Mexican, Luis Sanchez Saturno, Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Crews in New Mexico worked to clear snowy, icy roads, while some schools and government agencies shuttered their doors Friday, a day after a storm system left behind 6 inches of snow.
Workers plowed Interstate 40 between Clines Corner and Santa Rosa in the east, and Interstate 25 between Rowe and Raton in the north. Eastern New Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley saw freezing fog Friday morning, and the fog was expected to return later in the evening through Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, police from Santa Fe and Roswell continued to monitor traffic and icy roads after seeing dozens of minor accidents.
The bitter cold temperatures and treacherous roads forced some Santa Fe and Carlsbad schools to open late, while schools in Albuquerque's eastern mountains, an area hit hard by the system, remained closed.
The National Weather Service said bitter cold temperatures will continue to grip much of northern and central New Mexico, with freezing fog and flurries or light snow in some areas but limited impact overall.
Light freezing drizzle is forecast to expand across the eastern plains Friday night.
Forecasters say a storm system will move into the Four Corners region late Saturday and drop snow over the northern mountains.
Some areas of the state saw the snow and winter weather as a blessing after months of extreme drought.
For example, thanks to the heavy snowfall in northern New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley moved up its date for switching to seven-day-a-week operations. Ski area lifts are running Thursday through Sunday, but will begin operating daily on Dec. 12 — a week earlier than planned.
Taos opened on Thanksgiving, and marketing manager Adriana Blake said the ski area is enjoying its best opening since 1997.
The snow also was good news for the Elephant Butte Reservoir. The body of water depends on winter snow in the northern mountains for its water. In the springtime, snowmelt fills rivers that flow into the reservoir.
"We already have twice as much water in the reservoir as we did this time last year," Rolf Hechler, southwest district manager for New Mexico State Parks, told the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Follow Russell Contreras at http://twitter.com/russcontreras.
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