AZ DPS
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PRESS RELEASES

DPS responds with all available personnel and resources in Northern Arizona during early December blizzard

All state highways currently open and passable

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 -

From the beginning of this storm in the early morning hours of Monday, December 7th, 2009 through Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 it has been an “all hands on deck” situation for the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Northern Arizona. DPS Officers worked tirelessly pulling stuck motorists back onto the road and investigating numerous collisions as a result of the winter storm that hit Arizona. This required all available DPS employees such as criminal investigators and others not currently assigned to highway patrol duties to respond to the extremely high volume of collisions, stranded and stuck motorists, and other weather related situations along the roadways. DPS personnel were also busy implementing numerous road closures and roadway restrictions. Furthermore, DPS personnel also worked with and assisted the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) during the duration of this storm by manning road closures and coordinating efforts.

During the height of the storm DPS assisted in closing I-40 between Kingman and Winslow, I-17 north from the Sedona exit to Flagstaff, SR 180 north of Flagstaff at Kendrick Park, SR 87 between Payson and Winslow, SR 260 between Camp Verde and SR 87, and SR 260 between Star Valley and Forest Lakes.

The following are preliminary statistics for DPS in Northern Arizona from early Monday morning, December, 7th, 2009 through 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009.

Total:

449 Slide offs and motorists assisted.
83 Non-injury collisions investigated
26 Injury collisions investigated

In additon, the DPS dispatch center in Flagstaff received approximately 3,000 calls for service in first 24-hours of the storm.

All state highways are open:

All highways will remain ice-slick throughout the next 48-hours regardless of status due to low ambient air temperatures. Traffic will have to remain slow despite roadways being open.

Summary of activity for DPS Northern Districts:

DPS District 1 Mohave County:

20 Slide offs and motorists assisted
8 Non-injury collisions
4 Injury collisions

DPS District 2 Coconino County:

265 Slide offs and motorists assisted
27 Non-injury collisions
11 Injury collisions

DPS District 3 Navajo and Apache Counties:

58 Slide offs and motorists assisted
11 Non-injury collisions
4 Injury collisions

DPS District 11 Gila County:

30 Slide offs and motorists assisted
11 Non-injury collisions
2 Injury collisions
5 rock slides reported

DPS District 12 Yavapai County:

76 Slide offs and motorists assisted
26 Non-injury collisions
5 Injury collisions
5 Rock slides reported


Drivers can get the latest information about highway restrictions and closures via ADOT’s Travel Information site at “www.az511.gov” or by calling 5-1-1.

DPS and ADOT strongly urge drivers planning on driving in the snow, especially those who rarely experience driving in snow, to visit the “Know Snow” Web page before enjoying the winter weather. “Know Snow” information is available online at www.azdot.gov/knowsnow> or by calling 602-712-7355. Also available are travel tips, how to prepare your vehicle for the winter, phone numbers, weather terms, and ADOT’s snow-removal maps and plans.