Times staff reportelpasotimes.com

Posted:   12/14/2012 04:40:36 PM MST

Reporter Daniel Borunda

Update: 4:40 p.m.: A Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman said that crews have cleared an accident were a tractor-trailer fell off a bridge in the Spaghetti Bowl area. The crash this morning had blocked lanes on the ramp from U.S. 54 South to Interstate 10 East. The lanes are now open.Update: The “Christmas in the Park” tree lighting ceremony scheduled for tonight at the Franklin Mountains State Park Tom Mays unit has been canceled due to the weather, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said.

Update: According to Texas Department of Transportation officials, Gateway West between the Horizon entrance ramp and Eastlake Boulevard will remain closed for about 12 hours due to seven down light poles.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.

Update: Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies have closed Gateway West between the Horizon entrance ramp and Eastlake because of downed electrical lines.

Officials with the city’s Environmental Services Department said the department’s Citizen Collection Stations, or drop-off sites, and the Greater El Paso Landfill will close early today due to the high winds and low visibility.

Original story: The National Weather Service in Santa Teresa has issued a high-wind and blowing dust warning for the El Paso area on Friday.

The warning is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and cautions that strong winds are forecast to hit El

Paso as a cold front moves through the region.

The warning said winds could range from 30-40 mph with gusts of up to 65-70 mph on the east side of the Franklin Mountains. The dust will be worst the late morning and early afternoon as rain moves out of the region.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation report that because of high winds, the traffic barrels along I-10 west have been blown onto the highway near Americas Avenues. Crews are in the process of removing the barrels, but traffic is building up in the area.

All traffic signals are reportedly out in the Rojas Drive area of East El Paso, where traffic is also expected to build.

TxDOT officials are asking area residents to avoid driving during today’s high winds or drive with extra precaution.

Residents with breathing problems are urged to take precautions. Travelers are urged to use caution due to high winds and low visibility.