Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snow on Mohave Mountains!!



Snow, ice cause standstill
Road closure forces motorists to spend night on I-40

By Jayne Hanson
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:44 PM MST

Hundreds of motorists were stranded overnight at the intersection of Interstate 40 and State Route 95 because an unusual road closure caused by snow and ice creating impassable conditions through late Tuesday morning.

“This is the worst snow storm that DPS has ever had to deal with in northern Arizona,” said Commander Dean Nyhart, Arizona Department of Public Safety Northern Bureau Highway Division.

Arizona DPS reported northern counties of Arizona received more heavy snow Monday night and early Tuesday, causing roads to become very icy and slippery.

“High winds were creating dangerous icy roads and white-out conditions for 30 minutes to an hour at times, and that brings traffic to a stand still,” said Arizona DPS Lt. James W. Warriner.

Arizona Department of Safety reported Tuesday morning eastbound Interstate 40 was closed from milepost 9 and milepost 72, an area that includes the State Route 95 intersection at Pilot. The interstate was closed at about 8:30 p.m. Monday and re-opened at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Warriner and some of the stranded motorists.

Rigs of all shapes and sizes were near gridlock at the two service stations located in the immediate area of the high-traffic intersection. Parked in organized disarray, tractor-trailers, trucks, cars and RVs were lined up along the edges of SR95 and tightly packed in the available parking spaces of the Pilot and Chevron service stations. The overflow of stranded vehicles was directed into open dirt areas east of the Chevron service station located both north and south of SR95.

“I don’t remember this happening before, I guess the problem is between here and Kingman,” said stranded motorist Mike Manion of Lake Havasu City. Manion arrived at the I-40/SR95 intersection at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning to learn he was stuck waiting along with many others. “I am supposed to be picking someone up from the airport in Prescott right now. We’ll just have to play it by ear,” Manion said.

The I-40 road closure in that particular area was unusual, as it has not been closed for many years.

“It has been at least eight years since the last closing in that area. It definitely is unusual to close that portion of roadway,” said Michele Beggs, public information officer for Arizona Department of Transportation’s Kingman District. Beggs report of the last known closure of the portion of I-40 affected Tuesday was based on records provided by ADOT Kingman District’s maintenance department.

Truck drivers stranded at the Chevron service station told the Today’s News-Herald the road closure is just normal activity in the transport industry.

“We’ve been here since 9 p.m. last night (Monday). It’s been closed down since about 8:30 p.m. last night (Monday),” said Jackey Wilson, of Northern Neck Transfer trucking company, and a 33-year veteran of the truck-driving business.

“What can you do? I mean, safety first, really. I heard there were 22 trucks that slid off the road yesterday,” said George LeBron, Jr., Wilson’s team truck driver for NNT.

FedEx International truck driver Danny Darho said he and his team driver arrived at midnight (Tuesday) only to be directed to park their rig and wait for the roadway to re-open. Darho said he had been talking to other drivers to pass the time and was just about to settle down with a morning newspaper.

The storm system that swept the area Monday into early Tuesday resulted in a collective precipitation amount of .62 of an inch in the Lake Havasu City area, reported by four nearby weather reporting stations. The stations’ locations are Desert Hills, which reported .20; Lake Havasu City .19; Ram Peak .07; and Horizon Six .16 of precipitation.

According to Accuweather.com, Lake Havasu City residents can expect mostly sunny skies with daytime temperatures reaching 65 degrees today, Thursday and Friday.

Partly cloudy conditions with temperatures in the lower 40’s are in store for tonight and Thursday nights.

Friday night is expected to be mostly cloudy with expected rain showers.

Showers are possible Saturday morning with daytime temperatures reaching 64 degrees accompanied by periods of clouds and sunshine. Saturday night will be chilly with temperatures in the low 40’s and considerably cloudiness.

Sunday is expected to be cloudy and breezy with a chance of rain. Daytime temperatures will reach 63 degrees. Sunday night is expected to be chilly and rainy with lows of 45 degrees.

More rain is expected in the Lake Havasu City area Tuesday and possibly Wednesday next week.

You may contact the reporter at jhanson@hanson.com.

12 comments:

Fijufic said...

In Arizona of all places...

Damn!!!!

Xanadu said...

I guess that's scary for you guys, since you're not accumstomed to it, but I would kill for it to snow one day, and be 65 the next! lol.

Hope you're safe. I know the states south of us don't have the equipment to handle snow, so it can be a real PITA when something like this does happen. If that had happened here, we'd probably shrug our shoulders and say, "Meh...whatever!" HA. Not making fun of you at all! HUGS!

Country-Girl said...

The pic is so pretty! I love snowy mountains! :-) That is really creepy you guys are getting that kind of weather! Yikes! Stay safe!!

Judy said...

Be safe, Lenn! That's very interesting how it can be this kind of wacky weather, then be so nice and warm! *hugs* and that's a pretty photo of the mountains!! :)

becomingkate said...

So strange!

greeneyes67 said...

It really is unusual here. More than unusual!! More rain is coming too. So strange. I just hope it doesn't mean more humidity this summer.

A Magpie's Nest of Treasures said...

It is beautiful, but strange to think of it in Arizona!

Stay warm and dry! (and I would be more concerned with mosquitos than humidity, myself. *shuddering* I hate the little buggers!)

take care~ Gina

Doug said...

.62" of rain would make about 6" of snow, roughly, but just a dusting of it can make roads nasty. The fact that no one expects it means they don't know enough to slow down, but that happens here, too, and we get lots of snow :-)

theredhead said...

I am only not giggling evilly because I know that you get the kind of heat in summer that would kill me.

greeneyes67 said...

You're right Red. It almost kills me!!

Cin said...

Our weather here has been totally insane.We have had crazy winds through every season in 08-09 and we had the worst ice storm here that we've had in 40 years.I hate it.

Chiaroscuro said...

I snow it snows heaps in Flagstaff but you aren't quite that far north. Then again, nothing surprises me anymore. Enjoy the "crazy" weather while you can.