“Strongest Santa Ana winds in years”

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for today that could impact drivers traveling in southwest Arizona.

Strong sustained northern winds from 25 to 35 mph, including wind gusts up to 40 mph, are impacting Yuma and La Paz counties.

The Arizona Department of Transportation urges motorists traveling on Interstate 10, Interstate 8 and US 95/State Route 95 to use extra caution due to possible difficult driving conditions as strong winds over desert areas can result in sudden periods of limited or zero visibility due to blowing dust.

Motorists play in important role in safety when operating their vehicles during a dust storm. ADOT and the 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 the foot off the brake.
▪ Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts intact and wait for the storm to pass.

ADOT, along with DPS, will continue to work as a public safety team to support Arizona’s highways and drivers and will closely monitor conditions on the highways while maintaining driver safety.

Drivers planning trips tomorrow are urged to monitor travel conditions by calling 5-1-1 within Arizona, 1.888.411.ROAD outside the state, or via the Web at www.az511.gov. Because weather conditions can quickly evolve, drivers are encouraged to regularly check in with ADOT’s Traveler Information Service. Motorists should delay or detour travel plans if necessary.

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