A major winter storm is forecast to push through Arizona and the Arizona Department of Transportation wants drivers traveling in the high country to be prepared.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the mountains and high deserts throughout northern and eastern Arizona. Snow levels may be as low as 2,000 feet. Rain is expected in the lower elevations.
ADOT crews have been preparing for the storm and will be working 24/7 to keep roads clear. Maintenance crews are checking the snowplows and making sure they are stocked with de-icing products. Additional snowplow drivers have been sent to areas expecting significant snowfall, like Flagstaff and Williams.
Drivers should plan ahead and be very cautious if planning to travel to the high country when the storm arrives. ADOT recommends drivers wait until conditions improve before traveling.
More safety tips for drivers:
- Slow down, be patient and drive safely. Plan for extra travel time. Use extra caution around snowplows.
- Be alert: ice forms on bridges first and is hard to see.
- When driving behind a snowplow, stay back at least four car lengths. If you think you’re traveling too close to a plow, you probably are. Be safe and stay back!
- Never pass a snowplow that’s in the process of clearing snow and ice off the road.
- Maintain at least a three-quarter-full tank of gas.
- Notify someone of your travel route, destination and projected arrival time.
- Carry an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle that includes blankets, extra clothes, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand for traction, a fully charged cell phone, and hazard warning lights or reflectors.
- Brake slowly to avoid any panic braking or jerking the steering wheel.
- Increase the distance between you and the traffic ahead.
- Carry plenty of food and water, and all necessary medications.
- Carry tire chains and snow cables, or use snow tires.
- Wear warm clothes to protect you during extended time periods in cold temperatures.
Additional information can be found on ADOT’s “Know Snow” website at azdot.gov/KnowSnow.