ADOT warns of strong winds, dust storms in central and southern Arizona

PHOENIX - The Arizona Department of Transportation is warning travelers of strong winds and dusty conditions expected in parts of central and southern Arizona Friday.

According to ADOT, drivers have reported strong winds and dusty conditions. The National Weather Service in Tucson has recorded winds of 28 mph with gusts to 36 mph and visibility of nine miles.

The windy conditions have the potential to create dust channels that can quickly reduce visibility to zero.

ADOT warns that drivers may confront strong winds along Interstate 10 from Phoenix to Tucson and on I-10 from Tucson to New Mexico Friday.

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 current information about highway closures or restrictions visit ADOT's Travel Information Site at az511.gov or call 5-1-1.

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