Strong winds create snow drifts, dangerous driving conditions

Strong winds create snow drifts, dangerous driving conditions
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Winds were so strong in south Spokane County today, state route 27 south of Fairfield was shut down due to a number of snow drifts which made for unsafe driving conditions.

The conditions were so bad on that stretch of road, they even put state troopers on edge.

“You wouldn’t know it by standing here in downtown, but the winds have started picking up that snow and moving it across the roadways,” says trooper Jeff Sevigney. “I mean, I drove today from Fairfield to Latah and I immediately turned around to get, because I wasn’t sure that I was gonna get back.”

Sevigney realizes the wind can pick up just as quickly as it dies down, so conditions can change in an instant. That’s why he wasn’t taking any chances when shutting down that stretch of road today — and he says those closure signs are there for a reason.

“With the temperatures well-below freezing and then you add the wind chill factor, if your vehicle becomes disabled in a snowdrift, and you run out of gas, it’s a very dangerous situation and can be life-threatening,” Sevigney says.

With all that in mind, even if a road isn’t closed, Sevigney says you still need to be cautious and play it safe.

“If visibility in the roadway becomes an issue, you gotta slow down,” he says. “And if you can’t see at all then you need to stop, turn around, and go back the way that you came.”

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