Officials refining response to super fog conditions in metro New Orleans

I-10 closed in both directions in NOLA East as super fog safety precaution
I-10 closed in both directions in NOLA East as super fog safety precaution(Olivia Vidal)
Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 6:04 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2023 at 3:59 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In response to the area around New Orleans East continuing to experience “super fog”, a combination of fog and smoke from marsh fires in Bayou Savage, police shut down parts of I-10 in both directions Wednesday (Nov. 8) morning.

Although there were no major accidents, like two deadly crashes in the last two weeks, some drivers say things could’ve gone smoother.

For more than two hours, drivers were allowed to cross the I-10 Twin Spans and the Hw. 11 bridge into New Orleans, only to be turned around and sent back to the North Shore.

“They should’ve had some signs for sure. At least some cops with lights on letting people know they couldn’t go,” Galen Mertens told FOX 8.

A FOX 8 crew surveying the conditions Wednesday morning was convoyed away from I-10 East after getting trapped in zero visibility super fog near the Michoud exit before the interstate was shut down.

Causeway officials said they received no notification of the I-10 closure but were prepared anyway to lift tolls and begin convoying the influx of drivers.

“We lead out with a unit and every 200 cars we put another unit,” said Rob Graham with Causeway Operations.

A spokesperson for Louisiana State Police says they were in constant contact with the New Orleans Police Department, but questions remain about why the Twin Span and Hwy. 11 bridges were not shut down.

“I think there should’ve been some signs before hand,” said Latasha Portus.

See also: What is ‘super fog’ and why is it so hazardous to drive in?

Though Mayor LaToya Cantrell again refused to take questions from FOX 8 at her weekly press conference, she commented about the increased efforts to keep the highways safe in super fog conditions.

“We will continue to make this a priority,” she said. “If changes need to be made, we will make them swiftly.”

On Tuesday, super fog conditions caused multiple crashes near Michoud Boulevard and Irish Bayou that resulted in one death and sent eight people to the hospital.

Tuesday’s incident came about two weeks after super fog caused a 168-car pile-up on I-55 between Manchac and Ruddock, resulting in seven deaths and dozens of injuries.

Officials are prepared for another fog event Thursday morning and in spite of some hiccups, law enforcement agencies promise to be prepared as they ask drivers to proceed with caution.

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