Home » At Least 7 Dead as ‘Super Fog’ Blankets New Orleans, Causing Pileups

At Least 7 Dead as ‘Super Fog’ Blankets New Orleans, Causing Pileups

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A dense “tremendous fog” hovered over New Orleans on Monday, shrouding the world in an impenetrable mist that led to site visitors pileups involving dozens of autos and leaving at the least seven folks useless, the authorities mentioned.

At the least 158 autos have been concerned in a collection of crashes, which started simply earlier than 9 a.m. on Interstate 55 northwest of New Orleans, the Louisiana State Police mentioned, noting that fog had been a “contributing issue.” An extra 25 folks have been injured, a few of them critically, the police mentioned.

After the accidents, which concerned autos in each the north- and southbound lanes, a few of the autos caught hearth, in keeping with the police. A tanker truck carrying “hazardous liquid” was being eliminated, the police mentioned, including that it was doable that “extra fatalities might be situated.” The State Police urged anybody with a lacking member of the family to contact the company.

Aerial photographs posted to the State Police’s Fb web page present several pileups on Interstate 55, together with some vehicles and vans that seemed to be charred.

The thick fog got here from a mixture of moisture within the air and smoke from sporadic marsh fires throughout the Mississippi River Valley towards Baton Rouge, La., mentioned Tyler Stanfield, a meteorologist for the Nationwide Climate Service in New Orleans.

“It was the right storm,” Mr. Stanfield mentioned.

Whereas tremendous fog is rare, it’s not an unheard-of phenomenon. New Orleans usually experiences tremendous fog twice a yr. It’s normally fueled by marsh fires, which have grow to be extra frequent within the space this yr due to drier situations, Mr. Stanfield mentioned.

The fog started to set in round 3 a.m. on Monday and have become dense round dawn, he mentioned. Visibility for drivers was as little as one-eighth of a mile.

The State Police closed parts of Interstates 10, 55 and 310 on Monday morning and warned that, due to the heavy fog, “drivers ought to keep away from the world if doable and use alternate routes.” Interstates 10 and 310 South later reopened, however parts of Interstate 55 remained closed on Monday night.

By the afternoon many of the fog had cleared, with the final of it lingering within the suburbs west of New Orleans, Mr. Stanfield mentioned.

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