ADOT asks drivers to use caution as snow, icy conditions close roads in northern Arizona
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Multiple highways are closed in northern Arizona as winter storms continue to hit the state. The Arizona Department of Transportation says State Route 64 near the Grand Canyon is closed (between mileposts 241 and 268) due to weather conditions and car crashes.
Earlier this morning, the I-17 northbound was closed near Flagstaff due to low visibility and dangerous road conditions. The highway has since reopened; however, ADOT officials are asking drivers to use extreme caution on the roads because of the extremely icy, snowy conditions in the northern part of the state. For an updated interactive road closures map, visit ADOT’s website by clicking here.
In Flagstaff by 1 p.m., the National Weather Service reported that most of the region saw between 12 and 18 inches of snowfall, while some areas got up to nearly 20 inches. Here’s one viewer’s footage of the blowing snow coming down in Flagstaff:
ADOT officials are asking travelers to stay home if possible, but if they must drive, to prepare their vehicle for the weather. For a full checklist to Know Snow, click here for ADOT’s resources. David Woodfill with ADOT said, “We have 200 snowplows statewide that are working around the clock to get the roads clear. Before these storms, we’re always out ahead of time, prepping the roads with de-icing material.”
The road closures come after several days of predicted ice and snow for the northern regions of Arizona. First Alert Weather Team meteorologist Ian Schwartz said conditions are worsening as snow continues to fall. Waves of snow could push some localized areas up to nearly 3 feet of snow by the time the storm leaves Wednesday morning. “At least until the winter storm warning has passed. If you don’t have to go anywhere, don’t. Just delay your travel plans,” said Kathy Cline, ADOT spokeswoman.
Scott Overton, Public Works Director with the City of Flagstaff, said the weather over the next few days is perfect for relaxation and hot cocoa. “If at all possible, delay traveling for a further time for conditions to improve. Every road has a different type of condition--most of the main roads are passable but none of our neighborhood service has begun. Generally, you’re not going to see improving conditions for the next 6 to 8 hours.”
More school closings are anticipated in the following week due to the weather conditions. Check out our First Alert Weather radar loop for the next 12 hours to get an idea of what’s to come in our state.
Check out some viewers’ photos of the snow below! You can add your own photos as well.
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