Super fog blankets New Orleans again, as damp fires and smoke close interstate after deadly crash

Dense smoke reminiscent of last month’s “super fog” that rolled into Louisiana has led to a deadly crash that shut down Interstate 10 in the New Orleans area early Tuesday, police said.

The thoroughfare was closed due to smoke, fog and accidents involving multiple vehicles, New Orleans police said in a statement.

“Multiple people were injured and transported to the hospital,” the agency said after the accident around 4:30 a.m.

Smoke from fires near New Orleans is getting trapped under a very shallow layer of the atmosphere near the ground along Interstate 10 in eastern Orleans Parish, the National Weather Service said. As a result, motorists could see a quarter-mile (0.40 kilometers) or less, the weather service said.

“All that smoke has got nowhere to go,” said Christopher Bannan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service near New Orleans.

In some areas of the smoke, people can look straight up and see a clear sky in the daytime or stars at night, Bannan said. But if they look horizontally, they can’t see ahead of them, he said.

The weather service issued a dense smoke advisory. The thick smoke also reduced visibility along Interstate 55 in Louisiana, the weather service said.

Few details were available about the motorist who died Tuesday. Police said it was a man who died after being taken to a hospital.

On Oct. 23, seven motorists died and about two dozen were injured in pileups involving about 160 vehicles on I-55 near New Orleans amid a super fog, which is created by smoke from marsh fires mixed with dense fog.

Last month’s wrecks have raised awareness in the area, “and it’s on everyone’s mind so they may be taking more precautions,” Bannan said.

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