FLAGSTAFF — Coconino County Public Works Department will close a seven-mile stretch of Lake Mary Road, also known as Forest Highway-3 (FH-3) at 10 a.m., tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 19. Traffic will detour along the West Side Mormon Lake Road, which loops Mormon Lake and goes through Mormon Lake Village during this closure.
The closure will be in effect at the north entrance of Mormon Lake (near the scenic overlook) to the south entrance of Mormon Lake, which is about 35 miles southeast of Flagstaff. This section of Lake Mary Road will remain closed until weather conditions allow for the County to safely reopen the roadway.
The closure is due to high winds and drifting heavy snow caused by wind. When drifting occurs, visibility becomes limited and there is an increased difficulty for our snowplow operators to keep the road clear of snow. In an effort to ensure the safety of drivers, they will be detoured along the alternate route through Mormon Lake Village.
A Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service is in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday until noon on Saturday, Jan. 21. Total accumulations from this storm are forecast to be between 12 and 24 inches of snow above 7,000 feet with eight to 16 inches of snow expected to fall between 5,500 and 7,000 feet. County Public Works crews will remain deployed to keep County roadways open and passable.
Snowfall during this storm is expected to be heavy at times, and blowing snow with wind gusts from 30 mph to 35 mph may lead to whiteout conditions with near zero visibility that will make travel very difficult.
Motorists are reminded to travel safely and that accumulated snowfall and wind can create hazardous conditions, including low visibility. For questions about snow removal operations and related road conditions, please contact the following:
· Coconino County: For county maintained roads, please call Public Works at 928-679- 8300 during normal business hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).
· Follow Coconino County on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CoconinoCounty and Twitter at www.twitter.com/CoconinoCounty for updates on road and weather conditions as they become available.
· City of Flagstaff: Please call either 928-213-2175 or 928-774-1605 during normal business hours.
· Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT): For highway road conditions, please call 5-1-1 or visit ADOT’s online Traffic Operations Center at www.az511.gov.
· National Weather Service (NWS): For weather information about winter storms, please visit the NWS web page at www.weather.gov/flagstaff.
· Emergencies: To report snow-related road emergencies, please call 9-1-1.
As a reminder, County Ordinance 86-6 prohibits motorists from parking on county roadways between Nov. 1 and April 1 on a 24-hour basis. Residents are asked to park their vehicles five to 10 feet from the roadway to allow ample room for snowplows to pass.
Be prepared at home and always have on hand:
· Working carbon monoxide detectors (with battery backups) in all sleeping and common areas
· Three days of non-perishable food and water (one gallon per day per family member)
· First aid kit and extra supply of medication
· Personal hygiene supplies, extra clothing, footwear, gloves, blankets, sleeping bags
· Extra food for pets and livestock
· Flashlight, extra batteries, candles and a battery operated radio
· Alternate heat source (kerosene, wood, etc.)
· Full propane tank (if applicable)
· Extra set of car keys, cash, credit cards
· Snow shovels
· An emergency plan for the entire family
Vehicle preparedness tips:
· Winterize your vehicle (antifreeze, wipers, battery, snow tires)
· Carry an emergency kit consisting of tire chains or cables, blankets, tow strap, jumper cables, flashlight, water, first aid kit, ice scraper, extra clothing, and appropriate tools
· Keep the gas tank at least half full
· When traveling, let someone know your intended route and expected time of arrival
· Allow extra time for travel and drive accordingly
· Extra blanket and food.