10:28 a.m. A winter storm has moved into the southern half of Missouri, leaving roads covered or partly covered with snow and slush. Highways in west central Missouri are also partially to fully covered. The storm is expected to continue through today, with the prediction that heavy snow could fall in metropolitan St. Louis and points south during this afternoon’s rush hour. Interstates 44, 55 and 270/255 are expected to receive the most snow in the metro area.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging drivers to plan ahead and check road conditions before traveling. The latest road conditions are available at http://www.modot.org/ through the Traveler Information Map. The map shows routes in different colors ranging from clear, to partially covered, covered or closed to travel. Travelers can also call MoDOT’s toll-free number, 888-ASK-MODOT, to get road condition information.
MoDOT uses a priority system of routes to determine which roadways are cleared first to get traffic moving as quickly as possible. The following are priority levels for snow and ice-removal:
Priority 1: Highest traffic-volume roadways are cleared first, including interstates and other major routes. These roads receive continuous treatment throughout a storm.
Priority 2: Lower-volume, lettered or numbered routes are opened to two-way traffic and treated with salt at critical areas such as intersections, hills and curves.
After the storm during regular work hours, workers clean up accumulation on shoulders, bridge edges and interchanges.
Drivers are urged to be very cautious and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. The department also offers the following safe travel tips:
*Drive slower than normal.
*Avoid hard braking and sudden turns to keep from sliding out of control.
*Make sure vehicle windows are cleared to ensure visibility.
* Increase following distance.
*Keep at least 100 feet behind a truck plowing or salting the road.
*Keep plenty of fuel in the tank and carry an emergency kit.
*Let someone know where you’re headed.
Earlier: Crews from the south central district of the Missouri Department of Transportation are prepared for the upcoming winter weather and will be working to clear roadways as needed through the weekend, officials told the Herald this afternoon.
Motorists are advised to use extreme caution when traveling during this winter weather system, which is forecasted to bring significant accumulations of a hazardous mixture of sleet and snow. This precipitation can cause roads to become slick as it refreezes with temperature drops.
Drivers should carefully consider travel plans to determine if travel is necessary. Whenever possible, motorists should wait until the snow stops and give snowplow crews enough time to clear the roads and bridges before traveling. Motorists are urged to take additional care and concentration as they drive in winter weather and allow for plenty of time to travel.
Texas County residents can check the condition of routes using MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at http://www.modot.org/southcentral. This map is continuously updated with current road and travel conditions. For additional information, call the MoDOT Customer Service Center, toll-free, at 888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636) or follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/ModotSoCentral
During winter weather events, MoDOT crews work around the clock to clear routes as soon as possible and follows the below priorities:
Priority 1: Roads with the highest traffic volumes are cleared or treated first. These include interstates and other major routes, which receive continuous treatment throughout a storm.
Priority 2: Lower-volume lettered and numbered routes are cleared next. Traffic on these routes may be impacted until higher-volume routes are open and clear.