SIERRA VISTA — A 62-mile stretch of Interstate 10 has been closed down due to blowing dust and multiple collisions, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Transportation has reported.
The closure stretches from Highway 191 leading to Safford in Cochise County, to Lordsburg, New Mexico. Traffic is being diverted onto Highway 70 in Safford at both ends of the closure, a detour of approximately 110 miles.
“At least one semi-truck has collided with several vehicles, a San Simon Fire Truck and DPS vehicle have been involved in crashes as well. Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office is sending emergency vehicles to assist,” the sheriff’s office said in a release Thursday afternoon.
ADOT advises drivers to take the following precautions should they become caught in a sandstorm:
Immediately check traffic 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.
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 dust to subside.