Dust storm reduces visibility to zero, causes 29-vehicle crash, Nebraska

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Strong winds and very dry conditions produced a severe dust storm that reduced visibility to zero near MM 372 on Interstate 80 in eastern Nebraska's Seward county on Sunday, April 29, 2018. 

The Nebraska State Patrol said the dust blew in from farm fields along I-80 near York, triggering a 29-vehicle accident in which one person died and 15 were injured.

The patrol said wind gusts in the area reached 96 km/h (60 mph).

Similar conditions continued today, causing multiple crashes and prompting officials to close parts of the interstate.

A dust storm warning was issued by the National Weather Service through 18:00 local time, covering Butler, Lancaster, Saline, Saunders and Seward counties.

The agency said persons with respiratory problems should make preparations to stay indoors until the storm passes.

"Fields are being planted across much of the region and there are a number of active construction sites," NWS meteorologist Cathy Zapotocny said. "These winds will create areas of blowing dust and dirt," she said, adding that drivers on the interstate, U.S. 6, Nebraska 92 and other east-west roads can expect localized areas of 'extremely low or near-zero visibility.'

Please note that these conditions are aligning for the first severe weather outbreak of the season on Tuesday.

Featured image credit: NSP Trooper Cook

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