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The powerful winter storm that blanketed parts of Missouri with up to a foot of snow continued to move through the state on Thursday adding more snow and ice to already covered roads.
The Missouri Department of Transportation urged drivers on Thursday afternoon to be patient as crews continue to work to get roads back to normal. Bitterly cold temperatures on Friday will slow the efforts to get roads clear, it said.
On Thursday afternoon, city crews began hauling snow out of the downtown business district, said Houston City Administrator Scott Avery. It is being deposited north of the Hiett Gymnasium parking lot.
MoDOT crews will still have a lot of work to do on Friday, clearing all the roads including the smaller routes as well as exit ramps and outer roads. MoDOT said to expect slow travel as conditions will not be clear in many areas for Friday morning’s commute, especially in St. Louis, Springfield and the southern portion of the state. Motorists should be cautious for refreeze on elevated surfaces and on hills and curves.
“Our plows have driven nearly 800,000 miles already this storm. That’s three times the distance from the earth to the moon,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT chief safety and operations officer. “By Friday, crews will be on their third 12-hour shift this week. Please be patient and give them room to work.”
MoDOT said the storm has created extremely hazardous driving conditions resulting in a large number of wrecks on the state’s interstate system. Gusting winds will cause drifting snow that will make some roads appear that they haven’t been cleared. To make matters worse, another round of snow and wintry precipitation is forecast for the lower third of the state overnight, primarily affecting areas south of Interstate 44 to the Arkansas state line.
Though Friday is expected to be sunny, single-digit temperatures can decrease the effectiveness of chemicals used to clear roads down to the pavement. “Crews have already spread approximately 10,000 tons of salt this week. You will continue to see them working shifts through the weekend until roads are mostly clear,” Allmeroth said.
Following heavy snow that fell on the region this week, City of Houston workers made great strides in removing snow from the downtown business district.
Here are the latest cancellations, postponements
A live view of downtown Houston.