Tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat and now dust storms are affecting interstate travel. Dust is starting to reduce visibility on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
According to the National Weather Service, parts of Pinal and Maricopa County were issued a dust storm warning on Monday, July 18. Gusts over 40 mph blew dust that caused visibility of less than one mile.
As of press time, visibility has resumed to normal, according to ADOT spokesperson Steve Elliott. The National Weather Service is forecasting possible storms for the remainder of the week in the Phoenix area. Storms can produce wind gusts needed to pick up dust, causing another dust storm.
ADOT’s Pull Aside, Stay Alive campaign recommends travelers follow these safety tips:
- Immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
- Don’t wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway.
- Don’t stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane.
- Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers. You do not want other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing into your parked vehicle.
- 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.
Visit AZ511.gov for Arizona highway conditions.
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