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Los Angeles County Fire Department at the spot where a white powder substance was reported on northbound Interstate 5 just north of Smokey Bear Road. [photo by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]
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Traffic was backed up for miles on northbound Interstate 5 at Smokey Bear Road while emergency personnel worked to figure out the nature of a white powdery substance in traffic lanes. [photo by Gary Meyer, The Mountain Enterprise]
UPDATE–Interstate 5, The Grapevine, CA (Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 1:32 p.m.)—CHP Newhall Office confirmed for The Mountain Enterprise that the substance was “Food-grade calcium hydroxide, a non-toxic substance which is considered an irritant.”
UPDATE–Interstate 5, The Grapevine, CA (Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 12:45 p.m.)—All lanes have been opened.
UPDATE–Interstate 5, The Grapevine, CA (Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 12:39 p.m.)—CHP confirms that white powder was in the road this morning, blowing like white smoke. Now firefighters have told CHP that the substance looks like bag/s of cement. Lane one is open and the substance is being cleaned from the roadway before NB I-5 can be fully opened again.
UPDATE–Interstate 5, The Grapevine, CA (Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 12:15 p.m.)—The number 1 lane is now open but traffic is still backed up. The California Highway Patrol log notes that the substance appears to be nontoxic.
Interstate 5, The Grapevine, CA (Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 12:01 p.m.)— A possible hazardous materials alert has been issued by California Highway Patrol and all traffic temporarily shut down at I-5 and 138 with back-up of traffic down to Smokey Bear Road, according to early reports. We have a reporter on the way.
Early reports said there is a sack of unidentified material, possibly chemicals, on the roadway. While the substance is being checked, traffic has been stopped. We will give an update as soon as possible.
This is part of the January 19, 2018 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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