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Tuesday's dust storm snaps trees in Las Cruces

Las Cruces Sun-News logo Las Cruces Sun-News 3/17/2021 Leah Romero, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – The dust storm that traveled through the Las Cruces area Tuesday left behind damage in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued High Wind and Blowing Dust warnings Tuesday afternoon due to an elevation in wind speeds caused by a low-pressure system in the area.

More: National Weather Service issues hazardous weather warnings

Meteorologist Joe DeLizio said gusts at the Las Cruces International Airport reached 56 miles per hour. There were several gusts in the mid-50s around the city and higher speeds toward the east. DeLizio confirmed that the highest speeds were recorded at San Augustin Pass at 87 miles per hour.

a tree in the middle of a dirt field: A wind storm bent or snapped several trees Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at Apodaca Park in Las Cruces. City staff brought down the trees posing a danger. © Lucas Peerman/Sun-News A wind storm bent or snapped several trees Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at Apodaca Park in Las Cruces. City staff brought down the trees posing a danger.

He said winds started to die down a few hours after sunset Tuesday, but did not significantly diminish until after midnight.

More: Las Cruces under Red Flag Warning

The winds resulted in damage to several homes and trees were uprooted in a few areas, including Apodaca Park. Mandy Guss with the City of Las Cruces said Tuesday’s wind cracked the trunks of several trees. They were leaning over, which posed a safety risk, so were removed. Parks and Recreation staff assessed the damaged Wednesday morning.

Karl Dettloff is a Las Cruces resident in the El Paseo Road and University Avenue area said a large tree branch came down in his yard, narrowly missing his home. He said the branch rubbed against the house, but there was no damage to report. However, the wind did take off some of his neighbor’s roofing.

a house with trees in the background: A large tree branch fell Tuesday during a dust storm, narrowly missing Karl Dettloff's home near El Paseo Road and University Avenue. © Karl Dettloff A large tree branch fell Tuesday during a dust storm, narrowly missing Karl Dettloff's home near El Paseo Road and University Avenue.

New Mexico State Climatologist David DuBois said a tree fell in the backyard of his home in the High Range area. The live cottonwood tree was snapped toward the base. He said his house is on a bit of a hill, so he experiences more wind.

a close up of a rock: A cottonwood tree was snapped in the yard of David DuBois, New Mexico State Climatologist, Tuesday during a dust storm. © David DuBois A cottonwood tree was snapped in the yard of David DuBois, New Mexico State Climatologist, Tuesday during a dust storm.

“It wasn't a very big tree, thankfully. And it didn't do any damage, it just broke the tree,” DuBois said.

According to the NWS, Tuesday’s storm moved east across the country and caused high risk of thunderstorms and tornadoes across the southeast U.S. Wednesday. Meanwhile, weather in Las Cruces Wednesday is expected to be clear with light breezes.

Leah Romero is the trending reporter at the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, lromero@lcsun-news.com or @rromero_leah on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Tuesday's dust storm snaps trees in Las Cruces

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