Strong winds, blowing dust could affect travel across Arizona - Tucson News Now

Strong winds, blowing dust could affect travel across Arizona

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding drivers about driving in blowing dust storms, after the National Weather Service issued an advisory for blowing dust.  The NWS advisories predict winds from 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.    

The area affected runs from Phoenix to Casa Grande, there could be areas of blowing dust and limited visibility especially along sections of I-10, I-8 and along SR 347. 

According to a release from ADOT blowing dust has already been reported along I-10 near Queen Creek Road.   One advisory is in place until 7 p.m. for I-10 between Willcox and New Mexico. 

Drivers are advised to stay alert and look out in all directions for blowing dust, especially in desert areas. ADOT urges drivers to avoid driving into a dust storm. Motorists play an important role in their own safety when driving during a dust storm. ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommend the following driving tips when encountering a low-visibility dust storm:

-Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.

-If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.

-Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway — do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can, away from where other vehicles may travel.

-Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane; look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.

-Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.

-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.

-Be aware that any storm can cause power outages to overhead roadway lighting and traffic signals. Drive with caution and treat all intersections without signals as having stop signs in all directions.

For more information and driving tips, please visit PullAsideStayAlive.org.

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