Winter storm closes highways, causes crashes in northern Arizona

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Thom in Queen Creek) (Source: Thom in Queen Creek)
ADOT camera of I-40 on Ash Fork Hill ADOT camera of I-40 on Ash Fork Hill

Heavy snowfall Sunday afternoon has caused several crashes and closures on Interstate 40 in northern Arizona.

Authorities said I-40 is closed in both directions between Ash Fork and Winslow. Crews have re-opened the westbound lanes of I-40 from US 93 to Ash Fork but the eastbound lanes are still closed.

Flagstaff Fire Department said they've responded to several slide-offs and overturned semi trucks along the I-40 corridor during the, "brief but intense blizzard and white out conditions."

In one of the crashes, the truck driver needed to be pulled from the cab of his truck. He suffered lower leg injuries, according to Flagstaff Fire.

Another semi caught fire after sliding into another semi truck. Several passengers were taken to the hospital and one person had severe burns, Flagstaff Fire said.

Flagstaff Fire said road conditions were very slick with nearly zero visibility at times.

US 180 remains closed west of Snowbowl to Valley on State Route 64. State Route 87 is closed north of Pine near Clint's Well.  

The northbound lanes of Interstate-17 are open again from SR179 to Flagstaff. The eastbound lanes of SR260 have re-opened in the Camp Verde area.

ADOT reminds drivers to use extra caution and prepare for driving in winter conditions.

The Red Cross has opened a warming station in Prescott. Grand Canyon Chapter volunteers opened the station at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Prescott High School. Volunteers are also on standby to open a second warming station in Flagstaff.

Winter storm warnings remain in effect until midnight for the high country and until 8am Monday for the White Mountains.

In the Valley, the chance of scattered showers sticks around through the first half of Monday.  With the very cold nature of this storm, heavier downpours may contain small hail or graupel (snow pellets).

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS-5 for updates on road closures and conditions.

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Interstate 40 closed from Ash Fork to Winslow
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