Arizona Department of Transportation

While there’s plenty of snow in the high country thanks to this week’s powerful storm, drivers should resist the temptation to park along state highways to play in it, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Arizona Department of Transportation.

Highway shoulders are for emergencies only. By law, you must exit highways and park in designated areas beyond the highway right of way before building that snowman.

Multiple stretches of Arizona’s highways were closed as of Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 21, due to a powerful winter storm whose fury continues across much of the state.

With the heavy weather expected to last into Friday and snow forecast to extend into southeastern Arizona overnight, the safest option remains delaying travel to and through higher elevations until the Arizona Department of Transportation’s plows have cleared highways of snow and ice. Motorists in lower elevations may see some snow along with considerable rainfall.

Snow or ice has been reported on at least two Arizona roadways, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

State Route 389 has snow or ice from mileposts 0 to 32. This is from the Utah state line at Colorado City to past Kaibab, Arizona. State Route 264 has snow on the pavement from mileposts 430 to 445. This is near Steamboat Canyon in eastern Arizona.

ADOT recommends drivers be prepared to slow down or stop in these conditions.

While working at ports of entry to ensure that commercial vehicles have the proper permits and can operate safely on state highways, Arizona Department of Transportation officers have to be ready for situations in which they’re called upon to help save a life.

That’s why nearly 100 officers, part of ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, have been trained so far to identify opioid overdoses and administer a drug to reverse the effects.

A semi fire and brush fire have closed both directions of Interstate 40 about 40 miles east of Holbrook, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The closure is at milepost 326.

There is no estimated time to reopen either direction of I-40.

Drivers should consider delaying travel, as there are no nearby alternate routes.

The northbound lanes of State Route 87 have reopened after a brush fire near Sunflower, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. One southbound lane also has reopened. The other southbound lane remains closed near milepost 222.  

There are long traffic delays and motorists should consider delaying or altering their travel plans.

State Route 87 was closed in both directions earlier today six miles north of Sunflower due to a brush fire.

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