LA recovers from the storm

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By Tris DeRoma

The opening of State Road 4 to Jemez Springs Thursday afternoon, and the restoration of power to the Pajarito Ski Area, marked a milestone in Los Alamos’s recovery from a windstorm that knocked over power lines and trees throughout the town Wednesday.

State officials were in Los Alamos County Thursday inspecting damage caused by the storm, according to Assistant County Manager Steve Lynne.

Lynne also said he did not yet know if the county would to file for emergency assistance from the state or federal government.

Paula and Mark Schmidt of Trinity Drive, didn’t wait until Thursday to start cleaning up, they didn’t have a choice.

Around 3 p.m. Wednesday, two of her neighbor’s large pine trees fell into her yard, one taking out the bedroom roof of her house and causing extensive damage to the front of the house.  

“About a half an hour later, I was in the house with my friend and was calling my husband at the lab and boom! This one hit the house,” Schmidt said, pointing to the tree that broke open her bedroom ceiling.

The Los Alamos County Fire Department wouldn’t let the Schmidts inside their house because a third tree that was damaged by the winds had not fallen yet. They were waiting for a tree cutter the neighbor called that had not come yet.

While White Rock got through the windstorm relatively unscathed, the town of Los Alamos took the brunt of the storm, most notably west of Diamond Road and NM 4.

No one was injured during the storm, but emergency and utility crews responded to many downed trees and power lines.