MoDOT Prepares for Winter Storm
The National Weather Service is calling for 3-6 inches of snowfall starting tonight in the St. Louis area.
The National Weather Service is calling for a 100 percent chance of 3 to 6 inches of snow within the next two days in the St. Louis area. Two to 4 inches of snow accumulation is expected to fall beginning around 4 p.m. tonight, with a 70 percent chance of more precipitation tomorrow morning.
Kara Price, the Missouri Department of Transportation intermediate community relations specialist, said that MoDOT is ready for the storm. They currently are pretreating more heavily traveled roads with a salt and beet juice mixture. Beet juice makes the salt more effective, fighting through icier patches. MoDOT has around 32,000 tons of the salt mixture ready at the beginning of winter, and they have about 22,000 tons left, which is plenty for this time of year, according to Price.
“We are prepared with 220 trucks and 400 employees, ready to work in 12 hour shifts, around the clock,” Price said. “We pretreat and then plow the roads until they are mostly clear to make them safe for motorists.”
Price strongly encourages motorists to get home from work early today.
“If possible, stay home tonight. The roads are going to be very slick; the pretreatment should help, but we encourage everyone to stay home not only for their safety, but it helps us do our jobs a little differently,” Price said.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol also is encouraging motorists to plan ahead and drive safely or not at all during inclement weather. If you must drive, plan extra time into your schedule to clean snow and ice completely from your vehicle.
Looking ahead, there is a chance of sleet and snow on Friday night, with a chance for more snow on Saturday and Sunday.
Price said that MoDOT consults mostly the same weather sources that are available to the general public and always makes sure MoDOT has their crews ready.
“We have good organization of our plan and how we use our crews. It’s kind of a 24-hour-a-day job no matter if it’s in the light or the dark,” Price said.
For more information, visit MoDOT.org and click on the traveler info map, or call (888) ASK-MODOT.
If you become stranded or see another vehicle stranded with passengers, call the Missouri State Highway Patrol emergency number at (800) 525-5555 or dial *55 on a cellular phone.
The Road Condition Report at (800) 222-6400 gives an automated listing of road conditions throughout the state.