CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) -- A dust storm closed a 14-mile stretch of a state highway in the Casa Grande area for nearly three hours after multiple car accidents.
Authorities say most of the crashes are fender benders and no serious injuries were immediately reported Thursday.
Arizona Department of Transportation officials say low visibility and the crashes forced the closure of State Route 347 from Interstate 10 to Casa Blanca Road about 2:30 p.m.
The closure was about five miles north of Maricopa.
Gusty winds in the area dropped visibility to 1 mile.
ADOT officials say traffic was backed up for several miles as drivers tried to exit the highway and take alternate routes before State Route 347 reopened by 5:30 p.m.
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Several crashes in dust storms caused by speeding and keeping lights on when stopped. Watch ur speed and turn off ur lights when stopped.— Officer Carrick Cook (@DPSOfficerCook) September 27, 2013
Multiple crash close SR 347 from I-10 to Casa Blance Rd, north of Maricopa. I-10 exits at 347 and Riggs Rd also closed.— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) September 26, 2013
Areas of blowing dust across Pinal Co, including Casa Grande & Maricopa w/reduced visibilities. Travelers use caution! #azwx— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) September 26, 2013