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Over Two Dozen Crashes on I-55 Leave at Least 2 Dead, 30 Injured

Over Two Dozen Crashes on I-55 Leave at Least 2 Dead, 30 Injured

“Superfog” conditions in Louisiana near New Orleans have caused multiple crashes, which have left at least two people dead and 30 more injured along I-55.

Fox 8 reported that a mix of heavy fog and smoke covered Interstate 55 north and southbound today (Oct. 23). Low visibility prompted state police to close the road between the cities of Manchac and Ruddock. According to NWS New Orleans, authorities also closed the interstate between Ponchatoula and LaPlace.

Despite the early closures, the conditions led to around 25 separate crashes by Monday afternoon. St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre told FOX 8 that all the accidents happened on a stretch of I-55 between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain. 

‘Superfog’ Conditions on I-55 Cause At Least 25 Separate Crashes, Weather Advisories to Continue

One incident involved three 18-wheelers, which collided and burst into flames. There were also two pileups that resulted in fires as well. The situation has left the interstate “completely gridlocked,” and first responders can only reach victims on foot. While two fatalities are confirmed, police expect more as they continue with rescue efforts.

“The situation is pretty bad,” Tregre said.

Superfog is created when fog and smoke combine into a dense, damp fog that can lower visibility to under 10 feet. Fox reported that today’s visibility on I-55 dropped to 0%. The New Orleans area has been plagued with drought, high heat, and massive wildfires since the summer, which created the perfect atmosphere for today’s weather conditions.

Fox’s Chief Meteorologist Bruce Katz says the weather alerts will likely continue through Tuesday Morning. High winds should move in on Tuesday afternoon, which will stop the dense fog from forming.