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Jul 3, 2014 10:42 PM by John Patrick

Blowing dust hits on holiday weekend

TUCSON - Holiday travel hampered by monsoon storms and blowing dust.

According to AAA, nearly 650,000 Arizonans are expected to hit the highways for the Fourth of July Holiday. Packed roads are dangerous enough but when you add the threat of blowing dust they can become downright deadly.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has a new PSA that drives home how dangerous travel can be when storms are in the area. Randy Martin, Arizona resident, travels I-10 often and has seen the dangers first hand.

"It can be scary, the wind buffeting alone is scary on top of the lack of visibility," says Martin

And if you've driven through Arizona enough you've likely been trapped by a wall of dust yourself like I-10 travelers David Hall and Arlington Brewbaker.

Hall recalls, "It completely engulfed the city. I mean when it went over it shook the carports and everything."

And the outcome can be devastating for those who try to drive through the dust.

Over a ten year period the stretch of I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix has claimed eight lives from over one hundred dust related accidents.

"It's sickening when you hear how many people have died when you could've just pulled over to the side of road," says Brewbaker.

When a dust storm does strike ADOT suggests safely pulling off the road, turn off all your lights, set the emergency break and wait for the storm to pass with your seat belt on.

"It's very ugly when innocent people die. Just pull over and chill out," explains Brewbaker.

With isolated to scattered storms in the forecast through the long holiday weekend blowing dust will likely remain an issue.

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