A lot of people in the St. Joseph area remember October 26, 19-96 because that’s when winter hit. That memory is the reason the Missouri transportation department is already gearing up for what’s ahead.
Eleven years ago, people in the St. Joseph area already were talking about the big early snow storm. It’s why the transportation department is starting its winter driving education program, urging people to drive slowly. It seems pretty basic, but the department says too many people forget past lessons.
The department is making sure it has enough salt and other materials and its equipment is ready for the first flake. State maintenance engineer Jim Carney says it takes a lot of people and gear—three-thousand employees last year, in 1,800 snow-removal vehicles.
He says the department’s average cost for fighting show and ice is 30-million dollars although last year’s icy onset and later storms cost the agency 43-million dollars.
Missouri is one of 11 states launching a public relations campaign: "In ice and snow take it slow." Carney says it’s common-sense advice for people who have spent months of warm weather forgetting what they learned last winter.