I-90 reopened after being closed by high winds and blowing dust - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

I-90 reopened after being closed by high winds and blowing dust

RITZVILLE, Wash. - I-90 in the Ritzville area reopened to traffic around 8 p.m. Sunday after being closed most of the day due to a dust storm. 

Windy conditions stayed steady throughout the day on Sunday.  Blowing winds have currently closed westbound I-90 from milepost 220 (Ritzville) to milepost 179 (Moses Lake) and eastbound from milepost 182 to milepost 206. 

The interstate was closed after eight people were hurt in a Saturday night collision involving two semis and three passenger vehicles. The collision happened in the westbound lane just west of Schrag Rd. 

WSP says one person suffered a broken leg and another broke their hand. One patient had to be airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center. In all, seven of the eight people injured had to be taken to the hospital.

The national weather service in Spokane issued a blowing dust advisory that remained in effect until 7 p.m.  A wind advisory for most of the area was also lifted at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Areas in Eastern and Central Washington, Moses Lake, Ephrata and Ritzville sustained northeast winds of 25 to 30 mph throughout mid morning Sunday. Gusts of up to 55 mph were seen late in the morning and early in the afternoon.  Blowing dust caused visibilities to drop below one mile at times with localized visibilities as low as 1/4 mile.

Winds will gradually subsided early Sunday evening. By 7 p.m. most of eastern Washington and northern Idaho were looking at sustained winds of less than 25 mph.

This blowing dust advisory included the following locations Ritzville, Grand Coulee, Odessa, Wilbur and Coulee city.

Sunday afternoom Grant and Adams Counties issued a joint message regarding the windstorm stating the storm has impacted the local county roads in Adams and Grant Counties and caused multiple local roads and closures of Interstate 90.  Winds and whiteout conditions caused by blowing dust caused numerous multi-vehicle accidents with injuries.

Emergency Management and Sheriff Offices of Adams and Grant Counties asked people to Stay of the roadway and not attempt to travel.  They asked people to stay put and wait out this storm.

They asked the public to stay tuned to local television and radio stations for updated information. They also asked people to not call their local 911 center unless they are reporting an emergency.

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