Strong winds are creating dangerous driving conditions on valley roadways. This week the Nevada Highway Patrol responded to as many as 50 calls a day because of wind-related problems.
On Tuesday, Jose Palacious pulled over on Interstate 15 to secure the landscaping equipment in his pickup truck. He feared heavy winds would cause the equipment to end up on the highway.
"When it's too windy, you have to be careful," said Palacious.
According to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson, there's not many drivers who are careful. This week, NHP has received a 20 percent increase in calls. Most of them are from drivers complaining about debris and trash. Drivers are also finding unusual items on the roads, including ladders, construction signs and barrels.
NHP said when drivers don't pay attention, it's a recipe for disaster.
"When a vehicle is traveling at highway speeds and runs over these things, a tire will end up puncturing and people will get flat tires," said Hixson. "I remember a call at one time where we ended up having 15 cars all ending up with flat tires because of debris on the roadway."
"People's misfortune is other people's fortune," said Frank's Auto Body owner Frank Hodulik. "I would say it does increase business."
Hodulik said he's also seen a 15 percent increase in his business due to the wind. Most of it, however, is coming from hyper-extended car doors.
"A lot of times a door check will fail because it's only made to open under normal pressure," said Hodulik. "When there's a lot of wind behind it, there's a lot of force behind the door."
NHP said to avoid these problems, drivers should pay attention, slow down and don't oversteer if you come across debris. NHP also said the major hot spots for debris include any construction areas and Interstate 15 near the Strip corridor.
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