Dust storm reduces visibility, closes stretch of I-25
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 06:18:07 AM CDT
Gusty winds fueled a dust storm on I-25, leading to accidents and delays for drivers commuting between Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
State troopers spent the day escorting drivers through the storm, as they waited for the wind to subside. The dust storm was by mile marker 114, near the Pueblo County and El Paso County border.
Traffic came to a standstill Sunday afternoon as troopers closed a stretch of the interstate when conditions became too dangerous for travelers.
"There were times that visibility was probably down to about 50 feet. I think it varied from 100 to 200 feet after that," said Sgt. Steve Ortiz, a state trooper.
Lance Foster was driving from Pueblo West to Denver when he encountered the storm. "I think if you got a camper, or you got a semi or something else that's light and going to move around, it could be pretty dangerous," he said.
Eventually, troopers felt conditions were safe enough to reopen the interstate with restrictions. They started escorting drivers through the storm to help control the pace of traffic and minimize the risk.
"What's happening is that the traffic is stopping in the traffic lane. Of course another car is gonna hit it and it's a chain reaction. So I think this last crash that we cleared up involves six vehicles," Ortiz said.
Ortiz says the dust is coming from a nearby ranch that's blowing its way over I-25. He says the drought is only making the situation worse.
"We need the rain, we need the snow. And the wind's drying everything out, though," Foster said.
State troopers say the dust storm caused four accidents, but thankfully there were no serious injuries.
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