Heavy snow hits NM, closes roads, cancels flights

December 23, 2011 - 1:35 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A winter storm blast has blanketed New Mexico, closing parts of major highways and canceling flights for holiday travelers.

Heavy snow and high winds struck the region Thursday and are expected to continue through late Friday.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation closed parts of Interstation 40, around Albuquerque and westbound from Tucumcari to the Torrance County line.

Large portions of Interstate 25 from Truth or Consequences to Las Cruces also were closed and authorities were urging motorists to seek shelter in hotels.

The National Weather Service reported Friday that parts of New Mexico received 16 inches of snow, stranding dozens of motorists.

In Colorado, operations at the Denver airport were getting back to normal after a storm that brought about 10 inches of snow.