WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — As high winds blow through Kansas, many towns on the west side of the state are getting hit with a dust storm on Friday.
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Dust is not the only thing blowing across western Kansas, there is also smoke from grass fires. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) Twitter which covers southwest Kansas, sent out a tweet at 4:58 p.m. saying, “K-25 is closed from the U.S. 40 junction south to Leoti. A grass fire is near the highway and visibility is limited due to blowing smoke. Please avoid the area.”
If you get caught in a dust storm while driving, the Kansas Highway Patrol gave these tips to stay safe:
- Avoid driving into or through a dust storm if possible.
- While driving through dust and smoke make sure to have your headlights on.
- Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway — do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
- Do not stop in a travel lane; look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
- Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from other vehicles.
- Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers, while parked.
- Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake pedal.
- Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelt buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
- Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.
- A driver’s alertness and safe driving ability is still the number one factor to prevent crashes.