High winds, low visibility force closure of I-40 near Flagstaff

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A FedEx truck flipped over on I-40 on May 11. By Jennifer Thomas A FedEx truck flipped over on I-40 on May 11. By Jennifer Thomas
Low visibility closed I-40 on May 11 By Jennifer Thomas Low visibility closed I-40 on May 11 By Jennifer Thomas
ADOT crews fight the wind to close I-40 near Winslow on May 11. By Jennifer Thomas ADOT crews fight the wind to close I-40 near Winslow on May 11. By Jennifer Thomas
I-40 was closed east of Flagstaff on May 11 because of high winds and low visibility. By Jennifer Thomas I-40 was closed east of Flagstaff on May 11 because of high winds and low visibility. By Jennifer Thomas
I-40 was closed east of Flagstaff on May 11 because of high winds and low visibility. By Jennifer Thomas I-40 was closed east of Flagstaff on May 11 because of high winds and low visibility. By Jennifer Thomas

FLAGSTAFF -- Interstate 40 was closed for several hours east of Flagstaff on Tuesday because of high winds and low visibility.

The highway was closed about 20 miles east of Flagstaff from the Twin Arrows interchange to Winslow. The closure was in place from milepost 252 to 219. The eastbound lanes were re-opened at 5:30 p.m. while the westbound lanes were re-opened at 6:30 p.m.

There were winds up to 60 mph in the area. Those winds created near zero visibility and posed a danger for high-profile vehicles.

On April 5, blinding dust caused a six-car pileup and shut down I-40 between Flagstaff and Winslow. On April 21, winds strong enough to dent a semi-truck closed a portion of I-40 for about five hours.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were reports of tractor-trailers blown over by the winds. However, there were no reported crashes as a result of the low visibility.

Drivers on the freeway were advised to be alert to changing conditions and high winds.

For the most up-to-the-minute information on road closures, visit www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1 within Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD outside the state.