NEW: Flagstaff schools and colleges announce Monday closures
Interstate 40 is closed from Kingman east to Winslow, official says
Portions of Interstate 17 are also closed
A winter storm packing heavy snow and gusty winds forced authorities to close 180 miles of Interstate 40 in northern Arizona on Sunday until further notice.
The road was closed in both directions about 6:30 a.m. (9:30 a.m. ET), said David Beck, dispatch supervisor for the Flagstaff office of the Arizona Highway Patrol. The closure stretched roughly from Kingman in western Arizona to eastward to Winslow, including the city of Flagstaff, he said.
Portions of Interstate 17 south of Flagstaff were also closed, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s website, as were several state roads.
As of 9 a.m. Sunday, Flagstaff – with an elevation of about 6,900 feet – had received 10 to 14 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The city of Prescott had received 8 to 12 inches. Areas above 7,000 feet could see up to 22 inches, according to the weather service.
Brandon Neuman of Flagstaff produced a time-lapse video of about a foot of snow falling on his backyard deck in seven hours.
“The other day it was 65 degrees, next day it is snowing, so it’s been crazy,” Neuman said. “It killed a lot of people’s travel plans because the highways are a mess.”
Much of Arizona remained under a winter weather advisory or a winter storm warning on Sunday. The warning was in effect until midnight Sunday. In addition to heavy snow, wind gusts of up to 30 mph were forecast for the Flagstaff area, according to the National Weather Service.
CNN’s Maggie Schneider and Ashley Hayes contributed to this report.