winter weather

With winter on the horizon, the Arizona Department of Transportation has spent months preparing for snow and ice that storms will dump on the state’s higher elevations.

ADOT has 375 certified snowplow operators ready to operate the agency’s nearly 200 snowplows, which are stationed around the state to keep people and commerce moving when snow falls on highways.

Planning a trip to play in the snow Sunday? Leave prepared for heavy traffic around popular snow-play sites and the potential for more winter weather to arrive as early as Sunday afternoon.

Highway conditions can deteriorate quickly during severe weather as snow accumulates and drivers struggle, and closures can happen suddenly and be prolonged.

With back-to-back snowstorms bearing down on Arizona, know what you’re driving into before heading to the high country.

Highway conditions can deteriorate quickly during severe weather as snow accumulates and drivers struggle, and closures can happen suddenly and be prolonged. If enough snow falls, the Arizona Department of Transportation may close lesser-used highways while snowplows address busier routes.

Being prepared for an emergency makes good sense for everyone, and only takes a bit of preparation to ensure things go smoothly during a real disaster. The Phoenix Chapter of the American Red Cross says time spent on thinking things through will pay off immensely.

So, when something goes wrong during the winter season – say a sudden power outage at home or the family car breaks down on the highway – it’s all about preparation, which is the alternative to panic.

Snow in Arizona’s high country is a magnet for desert dwellers looking to ski, sled, make snowmen and have snowball fights.

Too often, however, a vehicle full of people heading to play in the snow winds up parked on the shoulder of a state highway or even Interstate 17 rather than pulled safely into a designated parking area well off the road. This creates a hazard for more than just the occupants.

Poor driving conditions, caused by a winter storm, have forced the closure of eastbound Interstate 40 at Ash Fork, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The highway is closed at milepost 146. There is no estimate to reopen the highway and travelers should expect delays.

For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow us on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 5-1-1.

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