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I-10 westbound closure means heavy truck traffic at Exit 4

Updated: Sep. 20, 2019 at 7:08 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -As Interstate-10 westbound remained closed from the Toomey Starks exit to the Texas line, it was hectic and crowded at the interstate and Highway 109, where many truckers were somewhat stranded.

They couldn’t go west on ten due to high water and there was no point in heading back east.

It was like Grand Central Station for truckers at the Toomey Starks exit where trucks were parked all around. From this point I-10 westbound into Texas remained closed.

By noon some had decided to go north and take 190 west into Texas after being stranded. But trucker David Tincher, stuck there nearly 24 hours, just needed to get home to Orange.

“I just wonder why they won’t let people who live in Orange go instead of being stuck in Vinton. We’re not going to Beaumont or anywhere, just going to Orange. I can’t understand why Texas won’t let us go home,” he said..

For Tincher, 190 was too out of the way. Late in the afternoon, Louisiana State Police said Orange County, Texas residents can travel on I-10 west back into Texas, if they have a driver’s license with an Orange County address.

If one had to be stranded, Exit 4 has plenty of food and supplies. Yet time is money for truckers like Gary Ebanks, trying to get to Houston.

“I’ll probably be stuck with a load from Florida if I come down here and can’t do anything for the weekend, so, I’m just going to hang out here until I figure something out or see other guys going someplace else and I’ll follow them,” said Ebanks.

At times there was gridlock, yet Louisiana State Police Sgt. James Anderson says it’s been primarily an inconvenience.

“Yesterday a little before 11 a.m. We were contacted by Texas authorities who requested that we close I-10 westbound going into Texas. That closure has remained in effect since then and will remain in effect until Texas authorities ask us to reopen the interstate. A lot of drivers proceeded west, despite the message boards showing that the interstate was closed. So, that’s why you have such a large gathering of trucks leading up to the closure,” said Anderson.

Eastbound I-10 from Texas remains open though some coming from Texas say they drove through water to get to Louisiana.

No predictions on when I-10 westbound into Texas will re-open for all traffic.

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