High winds on Wednesday a cause for concern for area officials

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — High winds are no stranger here on the High Plains but on Wednesday they could be a big cause for concern.

National Weather Service Amarillo Meteorologist Lance Goehring says to expect the winds to really ramp up around 11 A.M.

“We’re talking about winds 40 miles per hour sustained with gusts up to 60 and would not be surprised to see some 70 to 75 mile per hour winds up in the Oklahoma panhandle, around the Guymon area, maybe even Dalhart, northern Texas panhandle there, maybe even 80 possible up towards Elkhart, Liberal area,” said Goehring.

Which can create dangerous driving conditions.

“Even if you’re driving a small car you could get pushed off to the side of the road with the strong wind gusts like that. Also, if you’re driving a high-profile vehicle like a semi or something, especially if you’re empty. It could definitely knock it over. Blowing dust, creating low visibilities or even driving in the smoke too. That can also cause low visibility if there happens to be a fire out there,” said Goehring.

Which then brings up another concern for fire officials, that being if a wildfire starts. It could get out of hand fast, especially with the lack of moisture recently.

“You look at the humidity that’s expected to be tomorrow. It’s going to be a low humidity and then you add on top of that you have a high wind danger. All those things together create a red flag day. That makes it likely that we’re going to have fires. If we do have fires, they get started and there going to be a lot harder to put those out,” said Steven Denny, Potter County Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer.

Denny said not doing anything outdoors that creates heat is just one of a number of ways you can help prevent grass fires from sparking up.

“If you’re in a car and have to pull off the road, try and pull over where there’s not high grass that could reach those exhaust pipes of your vehicle. That would start a fire as well,” said Denny.

Denny said to be sure and strap down or put away any loose items in your yard that could blow away.

One of those that Denny is stressing is trampolines as those can easily blow away if not screwed into the ground properly.

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