New Mexico

Tent city residents preparing for freezing temperatures in Las Cruces

Homeless look for shelter during frigid temps

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Residents of a Las Cruces "tent city" spent Tuesday preparing for the freezing temperature expected Tuesday night.

Over the past several years, the tent city has served as shelter for the homeless. 

Snow and below freezing temperatures are expected Tuesday night.

Sam Mitchell, who lives in in the tent city and serves as its manager, explained to ABC-7 what it feels like to sleep in freezing temperatures.

"It's like seeing snow for the first time and you don't have on the required clothing for the snow. That's that feeling when you're just so cold, so cold that it's down to your bone and it takes a long time to warm back up," said Mitchell.

Currently there are about 38 residents living in the tent city. Some live in a tent under a shed and some are just in tent.

Mitchell told ABC-7 he is making sure everyone has hand and feet warmers, beanies, jackets and blankets.

"We try our best to keep everybody that comes through that gate warm." 

The tent city is always accepting donations including sheds. You can drop off all donations at 999 W Amador Avenue, Las Cruces , NM 88005.

Snow, Icy Roadways Possible

Las Cruces and much of New Mexico is expecting a cold night with the possibility of snow and icy conditions on our roadways.

The Las Cruces Police Departments asks drivers to use extreme caution as roadways may be snow-covered, icy and difficult to navigate.

Winter weather driving tips:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel when conditions are poor. If you don’t absolutely have to drive in snow or icy conditions, avoid it.
  • Reduce your speed. The best accident prevention on snow and ice is to slow down and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Practice good winter driving techniques. Keep your gas tank full, turn on your headlights, be prepared to use tire if necessary, and read your owner’s manual for special instructions on driving 4-wheel-drive vehicles and vehicles with ABS on snow and ice.
  • Carry a winter ‘survival kit’ which includes flashlight, extra blankets, hand warmer packets, first aid supplies, high energy snacks, bottled water, etc.
  • Avoid driving into a snow cloud. Large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks and snow plows, may produce dense clouds of blowing snow that make it difficult for drivers to see. Use extreme caution when traveling near larger vehicles and avoid sudden braking if you’re temporarily blinded by a snow cloud.
  • Plan ahead and be patient. Delays are common during bad weather. Leave a little early and be patient with delays.
  • Check before you pass. Know where a snow plow and blade are before trying to pass. On multi-lane highways, the plow can be in your blind spot. Before attempting to pass make sure it is safe.
  • Check weather forecasts and trust them. Winter storms in New Mexico can become severe very quickly, so stay tuned to weather forecasts when planning your trip.
  • Do not use cruise control on slick or snow-covered roads. Never use cruise control when the roads are in slippery conditions. Using your cruise control can reduce your control of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip.
  • Know current road conditions. Visit the NMDOT website for current road advisory information at www.nmroads.com or dial 511.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are “buckled up.”

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