AZ DPS
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PRESS RELEASES

Arizona Department of Public Safety media advisory on Northern Arizona road conditions

DPS/ ADOT urging travelers to not travel in high country for next 48 hours

Monday, December 07, 2009 -

  • Northbound Interstate 17 closed near the Yavapai-Coconino county line due to several collisions and semi tractor-trailers stuck in the travel lanes
  • Northbound SR 87 is restricted in the Strawberry and Pine area due to heavy snowfall
  • Eastbound SR 260 restricted to chains or four-wheel drive east of Payson

At this time several areas of Northern Arizona are experiencing heavy snowfall with limited visibility. The roadway surfaces are slippery and may be impassable due to rapid snow accumulation, especially in Coconino, Gila, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai Counties. Interstate 17 northbound is blocked at milepost 310.5 near the Yavapai and Coconino county line due to several tractor-trailers which have collided and are stuck in both lanes of traffic. State Route 87 is restricted to four-wheel drive vehicles only northbound from milepost 265. State Route 260 is also restricted to chains or four-wheel drive east of Payson in the Christopher Creek area at milepost 277. The majority of snow problems are on I-17 just north of Camp Verde to Flagstaff. We have also experienced problems with rock falls in the Copper Canyon area south of Camp Verde and in Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona. In addition, many state highways now require snow chains or four wheel drive. Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officers have been investigating several weather related collisions since early this morning along with providing assistance to numerous motorists that have either slid off of the roadway or become disabled in the snow. Other parts of the state are experiencing rain which also creates slippery roadway surfaces.

DPS urges all motorists to slow down and be very attentive to changing weather, road and traffic conditions while driving with extreme caution. In addition, DPS recommends delaying travel to areas in Northern Arizona affected by the snowfall during the next 48 hours if at all possible.

For current road and weather conditions please visit the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Web site at www.az511.com.

WINTER DRIVING TIPS


Prepare for the storm— have a full tank of gas, warm clothes, chains or snow cables, food and water, cell phone, know the weather conditions to and from your destination and make sure you plan ahead for winter driving conditions. Get plenty of rest before your trip and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Make sure you let someone know where you’re going, what route you will be taking and when you expect to arrive.

Driving

  • Take your time and be patient
  • Always brake slowly and avoid panic braking
  • Always accelerate slowly to get the best traction
  • Do not turn abruptly, turn slowly and gradually
  • Increase the distance between you and traffic ahead, allow yourself plenty of time to break and steer around upcoming hazards.
  • Ice forms on bridges first.
  • Black ice is hard to see, it forms with very little moisture during freezing temperatures.
  • When stopped on the roadway, keep to the right to allow emergency vehicles to get around you.
  • Beware of shaded areas on the roadway, ice may be present.
  • Do not follow too closely behind snow plows.
  • If you are in an accident, become stuck or are just taking a break, do not get out of your vehicle and stand in the roadway. Sliding vehicles are hard to hear on ice and snow and you increase your risk of being hit. Watch traffic, stay out of and away from the roadway and do not become complacent—stay alert to your surroundings.
  • ADOT or DPS will assist you as soon as possible.

-End-