DPS announces several road closures due to snow

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FLAGSTAFF -- Northern Arizona residents were digging out of a storm Tuesday that left record snowfall, knocked out power to tens of thousands, shut down two major interstates and kept children out of school.

Flagstaff city officials encouraged employees not to rush to work on roads that were snowpacked and icy and delayed the work day for nonessential employees. Coconino County employees also were on a delayed schedule.

The powerful storm that dumped more than 20 inches of snow was at its strongest overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. A rare blizzard warning issued for the mountains of northern Arizona expired Tuesday morning.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said snow and icy conditions led to road closures in northern Arizona.

Two major interstates through Arizona that had been closed because of treacherous driving conditions are now open.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says motorists are free to travel on Interstate 17 north and Interstate 40 in both directions between Kingman and Winslow.

Westbound I-40 is open from Winslow to US 93. Eastbound I-40 is open from Ash Fork to Winslow. Eastbound I-40 from US 93 to Ash Fork has been reopened.

State Route 260 is open in both directions in the Payson and Heber areas. Chains or four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.

Southbound S.R. 73 near Pinetop is open. Chains or four-wheel drive vehicles are required.

Meanwhile, U.S. 180 north of Flagstaff remains closed in both directions. State Road 87 has been reopened.

For more information, call 511.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)