Wildfire smoke from nearby marsh fires and heavy fog mixed to produce a “superfog” event early Tuesday morning northeast of New Orleans near the Irish Bayou, creating near-zero visibility conditions for drivers on Interstate-10.
Multiple accidents occurred in the area, resulting in one fatality, the New Orleans Police Department said in an emailed statement. Several victims were taken to the hospital, and sections of I-10 were closed in both directions.
Conditions became undrivable within minutes, overwhelming motorists with severely limited visibility from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. local time. The National Weather Service warned drivers to stay off the roads and issued a dense fog advisory through 10 a.m. for eastern New Orleans and southeast St. Tammany parishes.
By 11 a.m., the fog and smoke had begun to clear out, but some hazy conditions lingered in the region, according to the National Weather Service. It was the second such superfog incident near New Orleans in two weeks. The first in late October caused a 158-vehicle pileup that killed seven people and injured dozens.
Extreme drought is exacerbating wildfire conditions in the region, leading to increased risk of “superfog” events.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com