Winds wreak havoc on Enchanted Circle

Highway Department crews spent Tuesday clearing fallen trees off roadways. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

The National Weather Service predicted “strong to potentially damaging winds” yesterday and, following a day with 70-mile-per-hour gusts, many residents of the Enchanted Circle were left cleaning up in the aftermath.

Electricity was out much of the day in Red River and in the town of Taos. Angel Fire Resort reported no such outage and Enchanted Forest and Red River Ski & Summer Area had electricity all day. “We were very fortunate yesterday with our power,” reported Karen Kelly, marketing director for Red River Ski & Summer Area.

According to its Facebook page, Taos Ski Valley closed all but Lift #4 “if you want to drive up there to access that terrain!” Angel Fire Resort spokesperson Krysty Ronchetti reported the Chile Express was on hold while “the Southwest Flyer had an intermittent mechanical issue but it was running most of the day….”

Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe Area didn’t closed but visitors were actively dissuaded from heading out. General Manager Mike Ritterhouse spent much of the day cleaning trees and debris from trails.

Red River Ski & Summer Area\’s Magic Carpet rides kept guests skiing during the storm. (Chronicle file photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

Red River Ski & Summer Area closed first the Platinum and Gold chairs “at about 1-1:15” then closed the Copper lift a half hour later, Kelly reported. “We still had guests on the Magic Carpets until 4 o’clock then we did winter mountain tubing at 4:30, no problem. the wind had totally calmed down by then.

We’ve closed four times in the last 33 years. I have never worked anywhere (and staff) are so concerned about one another. We were just kind of having a party in the chalet. 

“On last sweep last night ski patrol brought all kinds of bushes and trees with them. We were blown away by how damaging it was for us.”

 

A day later, Kelly said everything was back to normal. “It’s gorgeous. Everything is open and operating and guests are happy.”

The National Weather Service reports a warming trend will begin Wednesday and continue through at least Friday, with above to well above normal temperatures forecast. Breezy to windy conditions will return by Friday afternoon. A backdoor cold front will bring temperatures down across the Eastern Plains Saturday, but will rebound quickly Sunday.

A tree speared the roof at the Red River home of John and Judy Miller. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

 

The interior of John and Judy Miller’s home. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

 

Red River’s Maureen West spied this windborne shed in town. (Photo provided)
Red River Marshal David Smith shared this image of wind damage at his home atop Bobcat Pass. (Photo provided)

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