Due to incoming significant amounts of freezing rain, sleet and ice, the state Transportation Department is advising motorists to avoid travel if possible in Missouri late Thursday night through Sunday. Friday morning rush hour commutes will be impacted by the freezing rain across most of Missouri.
“MoDOT crews will be out ahead of the storm using a mixture of chemicals and abrasives including salt brine and salt,” says MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth. “Ice is the most difficult storm to fight. With large areas of the state expected to get a half inch or more, it can cause downed power lines and potential roadway closures. Motorists should avoid travel this weekend if at all possible.”
Many universities and colleges across the state begin next Tuesday. Students are advised to avoid travel this weekend and consider travel after the ice storm is clear and conditions improve.
If a section of highway is shut down for extended periods, motorists should heed the warnings on the digital signs and exit the highway at the next available exit.
To check road conditions including winter weather conditions and traffic speeds, please check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at http://traveler.modot.org/map/. The map is also available as a free app on iTunes and Google play listed as MoDOT Traveler Information.
MoDOT’s customer service center is available for information 24 hours a day at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636).
“All week, our crews have been gathering chain saws, chippers and other equipment that will be important when we have downed trees from the ice accumulation,” Allmeroth says. “If there are power outages, please treat dark signals as a four-way stop. Stay away from downed lines.”
When roads get icy, MODOT advises motorists to consider putting chains on their vehicles, if travel is necessary. Use proper winter safety precautions and make sure you have a full tank of gas, extra blankets and gloves and provisions like water and snacks. Wear your seat belt and don’t drive distracted. Leave plenty of space behind other vehicles and give snow plows room to work. If you encounter car troubles or are involved in a crash, motorists are advised to remain in their vehicle.