Dust storm closes highway from Arizona state line to Las Cruces
SAFFORD – A 132-mile stretch of Interstate 10 is closed from the Arizona state line to Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The highway is closed because of reduced visibility due to a dust storm.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety has closed the eastbound lanes of I-10 at US 191 (exit 352). Drivers will have three options:
▪ Drivers headed to Safford on US 191 will be allowed to do so
▪ Drivers headed to destinations between US 191 and the New Mexico border will be allowed to proceed eastbound on I-10
▪ Other drivers will be required to turn around and return westbound on I-10.
The Arizona Department of Transportation urges drivers to take extra precaution as strong winds can result in sudden periods of limited or zero visibility due to blowing dust, especially in desert areas. Motorists play an important role in safety when operating their vehicles during a dust storm. ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommend the following driving tips when encountering a low-visibility dust storm:
▪ Check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down
▪ Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway
▪ Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and not near where any vehicles may travel
▪ Turn off all vehicle lights
▪ Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake
▪ Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts buckled and wait for the storm to pass
▪ Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.
To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around Arizona, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1.