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Mayor Tim Keller and City Leaders Outline Winter Weather Response

Extra steps taken to protect the homeless from bitter cold.
January 04, 2024

Mayor Tim Keller was joined by representatives from the Department of Municipal Development (DMD), Health Housing and Homelessness (HHH), and Albuquerque Community Safety (ACS), Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR), and Albuquerque Police Department (APD) today to provide an update on the City’s response to winter weather. The City is prepared to service roads, operate vital services, and continue to offer a warm bed to anyone that is without a home.  

Emergency DMD crews were called in early this morning to prepare for the first major storm of 2024. There was a team of nine on hand to salt roads and clear arterial streets. An additional crew of eight personnel was also on-call. In total, DMD can mobilize 75 personnel to fill and drive up to 40 dump trucks equipped with road salt spreaders. Drivers are reminded to stay 50 feet back from salt spreaders out on the roads. 

“We prepare year-round for severe weather. Our road crews were monitoring this storm in real time and were ready to go,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Our whole team of support services is also prepared for inclement weather and difficult conditions. ACS, our team at Gateway and the WEHC, as well as APD and AFR are ready to step up and help when the weather doesn’t cooperate.”  

In November, the Gateway Center opened 35 additional overnight beds, bringing shelter capacity at the Gateway up to 85 beds. That facility complements the Westside Emergency Housing Center (WEHC), which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to both individuals and couples who need shelter. Transportation to the WEHC is available, and the facility also serves meals. The City’s four Heath and Social Service Centers are also open to provide services to meet the health, food, clothing, education, and social service needs of the community.  

ACS recently launched its emergency after hours transportation service. From 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., 7 days a week, people can call 505-549-0044 if they need emergency transportation to shelter. As overnight temperatures are expected to be below freezing, ACS is ready to help move people inside and to safety.   

AFR gave fire safety reminders for the cold weather. Portable space heaters need at least 3 feet of empty space between the heater and all other objects. Fireplaces should be professionally serviced each year, and gas stoves should not be used to heat homes, as there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Additional tips can be found on the City’s website.  

Residents can use the Transit App for up-to-date information about bus schedules and service. Community Centers, Senior Centers, libraries and other city facilities and services will notify the public about delays, changes to operations, or closures via our website, social media, or through 311.  

The City also reiterated that if you're cold outside, pets will be cold too, and they should be brought inside to stay warm. Low and moderate income residents of Albuquerque seeking a doghouse for their pet can apply for the Animal Welfare Department Doghouse Lottery.