On Monday, a “superfog” caused multiple car crashes on Interstate 55, which is located near the city of New Orleans, LA. “At least seven people were killed” leaving “a long stretch of mangled and scorched cars, trucks and tractor-trailers,” the Associated Press reports.
New Orleans meteorologist for the National Weather Service Tyler Stanfield said, “It was the perfect storm.”
41-year-old Christopher Coll told the The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate that he was en route to work when he noticed the hazardous weather conditions. “I was already on the brakes, slowing down when an F-250 drove up on top of my work trailer and took me for a ride,” said Coll.
Fortunately, Coll was able to escape after he kicked open the passenger door on his vehicle. Coll said “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was horrible. It was the worst wreck I’ve ever seen.”
Clarencia Patterson Reed was also on the road early Monday morning. “It was ‘Boom. Boom.’ All you kept hearing was crashing for at least 30 minutes,” she described to the local news outlet.
Authorities are asking people to reach out if any family members known to be traveling in or around that area on Monday are still missing.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans is requesting that residents remain vigilant, “cautioning that similarly dangerous weather conditions could appear later this week,” BBC reported.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement, asking for prayers for those who were injured or lost their lives. “The combination of wildfire smoke and dense fog is dangerous, and I want to encourage all Louisianans in affected areas to take extreme caution when traveling,” the governor said.
“I also want to thank the first responders and medical personnel who have worked so diligently to save lives and render aid,” Gov. Edwards continued.
“The best way you can help them, besides exercising caution on the road, is to donate blood at your local blood donation center. It will help replenish supplies that are being drained today to care for the wounded,” added the governor.
This is the latest climate catastrophe the state has experienced this year. Since this summer, “Louisiana has battled unprecedented wildfires, extreme heat and relentless drought…Exceptional drought, the highest category tracked by the US Drought Monitor, is in place across 62% of the state,” CNN writes.