2001 Sandstorm
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On Tuesday of the week, the area experienced one of its infrequent sandstorms.  Sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with gusts to 60 or 65 caused some anxiety about the stability of the tents (they weathered it just fine).  The sand in the air obscured the view in all directions and cast a brownish color over everything.  Here is one photo looking between the tents to the east, where the Organ Mountains would normally be obvious (and where the UFO was spotted hovering only the day before!).

 

 

The effect of the sandstorm would be far-reaching in that, after 10 years in tents, 2001 would be the last year for them.  From 2002 through 2005, WERC would hold this competition inside NMSU's Pan American Center, their large basketball arena.  The event returned to tents (but in a different location on campus) for 2006 because the Pan Am Center was undergoing renovation at the time.