After a closure that lasted multiple hours and was caused by a serious accident, Interstate 10 westbound finally reopened near La. 415 on Thursday afternoon, relieving stranded drivers amid a heat wave.
The closure, which occurred before noon on Thursday, forced drivers to take a detour from La. 415 North to U.S. 190 West, according to the Department of Transportation and Development. Louisiana State Police revealed that the closure was enforced as a traffic diversion following a crash on I-10 West near La. 3177 in Butte La Rose. The resulting traffic jam from the closure had reached the Interstate 10/12 split around 1:30 p.m., as reported by the DOTD. Fortunately, the interstate was reopened around 3 p.m., as confirmed by state police.
Throughout the temporary closure, drivers trapped in traffic for several hours along I-10 faced a variety of challenges brought on by the heat. Many resorted to rolling down their windows to preserve gas, while others relied on wet rags to alleviate the sweltering conditions. Unfortunately, some drivers even ran out of gas entirely.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that nearly all of Louisiana experienced heat indexes surpassing 100 degrees on Thursday. Baton Rouge, in particular, saw a scorching heat index of 116 degrees during the afternoon.
During this heat wave, an excessive heat warning remains in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday for all of Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi. The NWS has advised residents to seek refuge in air-conditioned environments or shaded areas, wear lightweight clothing, stay well-hydrated, and be vigilant for signs of heat exhaustion or stroke.
State police have issued a cautionary advisory for motorists to exercise vigilance while passing through the affected area. With the interstate now reopened, authorities are working diligently to ensure the safe and efficient flow of traffic while also emphasizing the need for drivers to exercise caution and remain alert.
The team of personal injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys extends their thoughts to all those who endured the distressing traffic situation on Thursday afternoon. We sincerely hope that everyone is faring well after being subjected to sitting in the excessive heat. In light of the current extreme weather conditions, we strongly urge everyone to prioritize their health and safety by staying properly hydrated and taking all necessary precautions.