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Gorilla Snot or AZ fighting blowing dust


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Arizona has had many problems with blowing dust, most recently this spot has caused major problems and many accidents. They are now trying something new that may help to control the problem and make driving safer:

 

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2016/05/21/arizona-dust-storms-i-10-suppress-dps-gorilla-snot/84677856/

 

 

For the past few weeks, a section of Interstate 10 in southeastern Arizona has been plagued by blowing dust from a nearby field. But now the state of Arizona has a secret weapon: Gorilla-Snot.

Since April 7, authorities have closed a 60-mile stretch of I-10 seven times, forcing travelers to take a 110-mile detour because of massive plumes of dust wafting over the roadway. The Arizona Department of Public Safety responded to multiple collisions in the area because of the low visibility, according to DPS Trooper Kameron Lee.
In recent weeks, winds have picked up dust from a field that was cleared, but not planted on, near San Simon. State officials spent several days watering the land in an unsuccessful effort to keep the dust grounded. Authorities said Tuesday they are seeking fines of up to $10,000 a day against the farmer who owns the land. A spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality said they believed that the landowner was cooperating at first but that he’s acted too slowly.

 

What to do if you encounter blowing dust or smoke:

 

http://pullasidestayalive.org/

 

 

Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.

If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
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 or in the emergency lane. Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers. You do not want other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing into your parked vehicle.
Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts 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.

 

The first two above are by far the best option, if you see visibility ahead is going to be a problem pull off before you are in reduced visibility.

 

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I found the recommendation from the "PullasideStayAlive.org" site that you turn off all vehicle lights including your emergency flashers surprising. While I guess I can see their logic - I can't help but wonder how you'd fare if sued for stopping and NOT having your flashers on. Virtually every driver's training manual and state licensing exam calls for stopped vehicles to turn on their flashers (commercial trucks and busses are required to deploy triangles and flares to call attention to the fact that there's a stopped vehicle ahead). I can't help but think that you'd have a tough time defending a decision to try to "hide" the fact that your vehicle is stopped in a cloud of dust by NOT turning on your emergency flashers.

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I found the recommendation from the "PullasideStayAlive.org" site that you turn off all vehicle lights including your emergency flashers surprising. While I guess I can see their logic - I can't help but wonder how you'd fare if sued for stopping and NOT having your flashers on. Virtually every driver's training manual and state licensing exam calls for stopped vehicles to turn on their flashers (commercial trucks and busses are required to deploy triangles and flares to call attention to the fact that there's a stopped vehicle ahead). I can't help but think that you'd have a tough time defending a decision to try to "hide" the fact that your vehicle is stopped in a cloud of dust by NOT turning on your emergency flashers.

This is the recommendation by both ADOT and law enforcement agencies. The public service commercials run periodically on TV here in Tucson, highly doubt you could be sued for doing as instructed.

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Spacenorman, If you follow the advice the step before turning off your lights is to pull off the roadway, to include the shoulder, so lights are no longer required.

 

I have been hit by an idiot following my tail lights in low visibility before, the dummy hadn't even been keeping his windshield clear! I pulled into a rest area and dufus followed me right off the road and slid into me when I stopped to clean my windshield.

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When we lived in Michigan I was traveling back to Flint from Detroit in a snowstorm where the snow looked like daggers coming horizontally right at your eyes. After an hour, I decided to pull into a gas station that I knew was on the way to fill up and a woman followed me into the station - she had turned off her lights and was following my tail lights. She proceeded to swear at me yelling that she didn't want to stop! B)

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I was plowing out the ramp from a parkway into the state park I managed before sunrise so my staff could get into work during a storm. I had 4 flashers in back and a rotating amber beacon on top of my dump truck. Some guy came down the snow covered parkway, probably speeding, and thought he would just whiz past me on my left. The problem he suddenly found out as he crashed into me, was that he wasn't on the parkway anymore, and the ramp was only one lane. Neither of us were hurt, thank God.

 

I can see something similar happening in a dust storm.

 

Jim

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We've been in a few of the dust storms between Picacho and Casa Grande, AZ - one each in Dec. Jan and March. You cannot get prepared for them as they appear almost instantly. We did have time in two of them to pull off the interstate safely and yes, we turned off our lights. There have been horrendous accidents and casualties because of these storms and most involve at least one semi truck or RV. In the last year Arizona has really pushed suggestions on what to do in these storms. It's visitors passing through that are not aware of the real danger. The haboobs in summer give more warning as it's an extremely tall column of dust and you can see it coming. The winter/spring windy days give little warning.

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X2 on what 2gypsies said "The haboobs in summer give more warning as it's an extremely tall column of dust and you can see it coming. The winter/spring windy days give little warning." I few aerial survey through that area twice a month for 5 years and the dust storms went up to over 8,000' AGL on numerous occasions (didn't fly into them due to damage to the aircraft) and the haboobs were dancing across the flats like Arabian dancers.

 

Best to follow the advice given in the above posts and just pull over or turn around and get out of the worst part of the storm.

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Great information and advice! Still wondering what happened to the gorilla snot, though...

Local TV station reported that it was working well and that they didn't have to shut down the Interstate for the very windy weekend we just had. First rain we have it will be gone as it was reported to be biodegradable.

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  • 1 month later...

I am surprised the lights should be turned off as well, I need to read more on this.

 

I did make a hail and sandstorm front window cover for the Class B for if we are parked but can't wear it and drive it. I was in a sand storm once and never forgot it, not just the lack of visibility but also the damage it can do. And I've replaced a window following a hail storm. Neither are fun.

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I am surprised the lights should be turned off as well, I need to read more on this.

 

I did make a hail and sandstorm front window cover for the Class B for if we are parked but can't wear it and drive it. I was in a sand storm once and never forgot it, not just the lack of visibility but also the damage it can do. And I've replaced a window following a hail storm. Neither are fun.

 

You really want your lights off once you are well away from the roadway, idiots will see your lights and drive towards them thinking they are following you and run you over.

 

If you are still on the roadway (a very bad idea) then maybe your flashers and pray the idiot coming up on you slows down.

 

Just tail / brake lights never a good idea.

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