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National Weather Service issues high wind advisory for southern New Mexico & west Texas

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The National Weather Service issued a high wind advisory Monday for southern New Mexico and west Texas, warning of blowing dust, debris, and even the potential for power outages.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation is reminding drivers that blowing dust is extremely dangerous.

“Walls of dust can just come in and just blow unexpectedly, and create a brown-out situation that will impact drivers tremendously," says Ami Evans, a spokeswoman for the NMDOT.

Back in 2017, six people were killed in a dust storm on I-10 outside of Lordsburg. Twenty-five cars were involved in the pile-up caused by a brown-out.

NMDOT says they now have warning systems in place for drivers, reminding them of what to do in a dust storm, as well as gradually slowing drivers down.

Signs are in place to warn drivers outside of the playa near Lordsburg, where that deadly pileup happened almost 6 years ago, as well as in between El Paso and Las Cruces on I-10.

NMDOT says if you find yourself caught in a dust storm, know who’s around you, get off the road as far as you can, turn off your car, turn off your lights, and take your foot off the brake pedal.

"Wait it out. Typically they’re just a couple of minutes, thirty minutes at max, but it’s just the safest for all drivers," says Evans.

Vehicles with high profiles, such as semis and drivers around them, should be advised to take extra caution as well.

“If they are not loaded, if they are an empty box, they can easily be blown into your lane of travel," adds Evans.

The advisory is scheduled to remain in place until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Jason McNabb

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