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Updated Apr 16, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Interstate 40 reopened after being closed for high winds

Blowing dust is shown on Interstate 40 in northern Arizona. (Photo: Arizona Department of Transportation)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A 33-mile stretch of Interstate 40 east of Flagstaff in northern Arizona was reopened Tuesday evening after strong winds and reduced visibility forced officials to close it.

The Department of Transportation says I-40 was closed between Winslow and Twin Arrows.

Authorities say gusts of up to 60 mph were recorded Tuesday in the Winslow area and sustained winds were in the 20 mph range most of the day.

The closure of I-40 was from Seligman in northwestern Arizona eastward to the Arizona-New Mexico line.

It began at 7 a.m. Tuesday, resulting in a 12-mile backup before traffic could be diverted.

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