Snowstorm shuts down parts of several highways in northern Arizona
PHOENIX — Snowfall across northern Arizona shut down portions of multiple highways on Saturday evening, with some remaining closed until the morning hours of Sunday.
Long stretches of major routes Interstate 17, Interstate 40 and State Route 89A were closed starting at around 4 p.m. Saturday amid “extreme winter weather” and weather-related crashes, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.
The National Weather Service bureau in Flagstaff on Saturday afternoon issued a “snow squall warning” near I-17 cautioning drivers of near white-out conditions and rapidly accumulated snow.
Another look of the snow squall currently passing over I-17 between the Stoneman Lake turnoff and Flagstaff. This is I-17 at milepost 312. We are still strongly encouraging folks to delay travel if possible. #aztraffic #azwx pic.twitter.com/0XTRHdommc
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) March 13, 2021
I-17 northbound between SR 179 and Flagstaff, along with SR 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, finally reopened just before 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.
While parts of I-40 reopened throughout the early morning hours, the highway didn’t fully reopen until 9:15 a.m. as drivers were left stranded for long periods of time on the snowy stretch of the highway.
Traffic on I-40 eastbound remained very heavy into Sunday afternoon due to the residual traffic jams from the overnight crashes, closures, slide-offs and stuck semi trucks resulting from the winter storm, ADOT said.
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