Wind, dust force closure of I-40 between Flagstaff and Winslow

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FLAGSTAFF -- Interstate 40 was closed in both directions between Flagstaff and Winslow Wednesday afternoon due to high winds and low visibility from dust.

Westbound I-40 was closed in the Winslow area and eastbound was closed near Winona just east of Flagstaff, according to Officer Robert Bailey with the Department of Public Safety.

The highway was reopened at 4:20 p.m.

As high winds affect the state, DPS advises drivers to use caution when approaching a dust storm.

DPS recommends motorists seeing a dust storm approaching exit the freeway/highway at the first available off ramp.

If you find yourself in a dust storm with limited visibility, slow down and use the lines on the roadway to guide you.

If you find you're in a dust storm without visibility, pull completely off the freeway/highway into the dirt. Turn your lights off; take your foot off the brake, do not use your emergency flashers. Wait for the storm to pass.

If your lights are on while you are pulled over during a dust storm, you stand a good chance of being struck by motorists trying to follow you thinking you're still moving along the roadway.

Always stay in your vehicle with your safety belt fastened. Never exit until the dust storm has passed.

Drivers can call 511 or visit www.az511.com or www.nws.noaa.gov for the latest road and weather conditions.