COCHISE COUNTY — The winter wonderland that was Cochise County Tuesday wreaked a bit of havoc on work schedules and roads.
In Sierra Vista just after 1 p.m., it started getting sketchy on some of the roads as the snow began pummeling the streets, said Sierra Vista Police Corp. Scott Borgstadt. Police were advising that motorists turn on their headlights in the almost whiteout conditions.
“The roads are starting to get slick,” Borgstadt said.
The weather was also a concern for officials at Good Neighbor Alliance, Borgstadt said.
“They told us that if we (police) came across any homeless people, to let them know that Good Neighbor Alliance would put them up in a motel overnight,” Borgstadt said.
Heavy snow prompted the Arizona Department of Public Safety to shut down the section of State Route 80 where it intersects with SR 90. Bart Graves, a spokesman for the agency, said the road in that area was closed down at about 11 a.m. Tuesday after several tractor trailers either slid off the highway or jackknifed.
Graves said the highway would remain closed until the snow could be cleared by the Arizona Department of Transportation. He said the department was advising motorists to avoid that area and to “slow down and be mindful of changing weather conditions.”
Anticipating that the weather would get hairy, Tony Hale, the commanding general at Fort Huachuca, authorized that most activities at the Army installation be suspended on Tuesday, said spokeswoman Tanja Linton. The post was not closed, but Linton said offices and most services were.
“Because of hazardous road conditions, we asked that folks not come up to the fort unless absolutely necessary,” Linton said in an email late Monday.
Some of the facilities that were closed on Fort Huachuca Tuesday included the commissary, all Army and Air Force Exchange establishments, the Child Development Center, School Age Center, all Moral Welfare and Recreation activities (including the gyms) and the Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools. Linton said anyone affected by the closures should check with the installation’s Facebook page.
Because the roads in and around Bisbee were somewhat hazardous, some county and city offices were closed as well.
Bisbee City Hall on Erie Street in Lowell shut down in the late morning, according to the city’s Facebook page.
The county’s main courthouse in Bisbee was supposed to open at noon, but Cochise County Court Administrator John Schow said that when weather conditions began to worsen at about 10 a.m., it was decided that the courthouse would remain closed.
“We reassessed and decided to remain closed for the safety of our clients as well as our employees and the community as a whole,” Schow said.
In the unincorporated areas, State Route 92 remained open, but the stretch between Miller Canyon and the Coronado National Monument was icy, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Facebook said.
East Ramsey Canyon Road leading up to the Ramsey Canyon Preserve also was described as having “significant snow.” The Sheriff’s Office said four-wheel drive vehicles were required to get through.
The winter storm sparked a head-on collision early Tuesday at Ramsey Road and SR 92 that sent one person to the hospital, said Cochise County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas.