December 3, 2023

A “tremendous fog” in Louisiana has precipitated a multi-car pileup on Interstate 55 close to New Orleans, Louisiana, after severely decreasing visibility, in line with police.

The crash, involving a minimum of 158 autos, occurred on Monday morning as a result of heavy fog situations, in line with Louisiana State Police. An extended stretch of Interstate 55, a 24-mile-long freeway over Lake Pontchartrain close to New Orleans, is predicted to be closed “for the foreseeable future,” police stated.

Interstate 10 and Interstate 310 have been additionally closed because of the crash, police stated. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards confirmed the accident in an announcement Monday. Seven fatalities have been confirmed and over 25 people have been transported to space hospitals with various levels of accidents from essential to minor, in line with Louisiana State Police.

Extra fatalities could possibly be situated as soon as the crash scene is accomplished cleared, police stated.

For hours after the crash, emergency crews labored to clear particles from each northbound and southbound lanes, in line with state police. A portion of the crash scene on I-55 caught on fireplace shortly after the preliminary incident, authorities stated.

The tremendous fog was brought on by smoke from marsh fires burning within the area mixed with dense fog growing within the space early Monday morning bringing extraordinarily low visibility. In some spots, visibility was close to zero, creating harmful driving situations.

Multi-car crash on I-55 in St. John the Baptist Parish in La., Oct. 23, 2023.

Casey Tusa

Tremendous fogs sometimes kind when condensed water vapor mixes with the smoke and moisture launched from damp natural materials smoldering from a close-by fireplace, resembling brush, leaves and timber, in line with the Nationwide Climate Service. Visibility might be lowered to lower than 10 toes because of this, in line with the NWS.

This has been occurring within the area over the previous a number of mornings, with the situation of the densest fog and most harmful situations various daily, forecasts present.

Tremendous fogs might be particularly harmful once they develop close to and over highways. The localized nature of the climate phenomenon signifies that visibility situations can worsen quickly inside a really quick distance, which may result in a hazardous mixture of sudden low to near-zero visibility and autos touring at a excessive pace on a freeway.

The very restricted visibility then hinders a driver’s capacity to react to altering situations on a roadway.

PHOTO: Multi-car crash on I-55 in St. John the Baptist Parish in La., Oct. 23, 2023.

Multi-car crash on I-55 in St. John the Baptist Parish in La., Oct. 23, 2023.

Casey Tusa

The Nationwide Climate Service issued a dense fog advisory for a lot of southeastern Louisiana on Monday morning, together with from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

Over the previous a number of days, the Nationwide Climate Service has been warning of the specter of dense fog throughout the early mornings within the area that may be worsened in some areas by close by marsh fires. State police suggested drivers to make use of their low-beam headlights if they can not see a minimum of 500 toes in entrance of them.

The fog dissipated by mid Monday morning, and all fog alerts have since been canceled.

Whereas areas of smoke will proceed to be potential within the space as varied marsh fires proceed to burn, fog will not be forecast to be a serious concern Monday night time, as climate situations shall be much less favorable for fog improvement.

Morning fog will not be unusual this time of the 12 months for the area, however greater than 86% of the state is presently battling excessive drought situations, which is elevating fireplace hazard. This might imply extra situations of tremendous fog within the coming days and weeks as cooler temperatures settle in, however the drought and wildfire danger persist.

As well as, devastating drought and wildfire situations proceed to affect Louisiana. Greater than 60% of the state is now categorized at distinctive drought, the very best class of concern, in line with the U.S. Drought Monitor. Simply three months in the past, 0% of the state was listed below distinctive drought.

PHOTO: Multi-car crash on I-55 in St. John the Baptist Parish in La., Oct. 23, 2023.

Multi-car crash on I-55 in St. John the Baptist Parish in La., Oct. 23, 2023.

Casey Tusa

“The mix of wildfire smoke and dense fog is harmful, and I need to encourage all Louisianans in affected areas to take excessive warning when touring,” Edwards stated in an announcement.

State troopers are working to inform households and examine the precise reason behind the crash, in line with state police.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Workplace directed media requests to Louisiana State Police.

Extra data was not instantly obtainable. Louisiana State Police didn’t instantly reply to ABC Information’ request for remark.

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