BLACKWELL, Okla. - High winds across the Great Plains Thursday, combined with the persistent drought, triggered dust storms that caused visibility problems and traffic accidents in Kansas and other states.
In Kansas, the National Weather Service said a dust storm produced “gray out” conditions between Imperial, Neb., and Hays, Kan., with visibility near zero, prompting some Thursday afternoon road closures.
In northern Oklahoma, near the Kansas state line, a stretch of Interstate 35 was closed for hours Thursday after a dust storm was blamed for a multi-vehicle accident that injured at least nine people.
Transportation workers closed the highway between U.S. 60 and Oklahoma 11 for several hours as crews cleared debris from the crash and waited for winds to die down.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said gusts as high as 55 miles per hour blew dust over the roadway Thursday afternoon, putting visibility at less than 10 feet in some spots.
Meteorologists say the dry soil left behind by the prolonged drought helped fuel the dust storms.
CNN and The Associated Press Contributed to This Report
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