With 20 inches of snowfall reported on the ground in some places, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is bringing in extra crews for Monday morning’s commute in many parts of the state.
MoDOT traffic communications specialist Joe Moore says many extra crew members will also be coming in overnight.
“Just to make sure that the early-morning commute is safer for all of the travelers here in Missouri,” Moore says.
MoDOT is also warning you to be careful Monday morning while driving, noting that roads could freeze overnight.
Moore says crews were able to “get ahead of the storm” on Friday.
“Working with our partners and getting the message out really helped us reduce the amount of travelers on the road, which then allowed us to get out there and keep it safe for those who needed to be out and about,” says Moore.
MoDOT used about 1,500 trucks and about 3,000 operators during the storm, primarily on Friday and Saturday.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says it responded to at least four fatalities and more than 875 crashes during the blizzard, as of Saturday afternoon. State troopers say they responded to about 1,800 stranded motorists this weekend and about 4,000 calls for service.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in St. Louis says mid-Missouri saw the highest snowfall totals this weekend. East-central Missouri’s Montgomery City received more than 20 inches of snow, while Columbia received about 16 inches. Ashland and Fulton reported 17 inches, while Audrain County’s Mexico had more than 19 inches.
The St. Louis metropolitan region received about 11 inches of snowfall. While that’s less than Columbia and Montgomery City, MoDOT’s Moore says the timing of Friday’s snowstorm in St. Louis made it worse.
“That was the worst in St. Louis trying to work with the snow compacted with the rush hour traffic,” says Moore.
The NWS says the west St. Louis County suburb of Ballwin received about 12 inches of snow, while eastern Missouri’s Troy had 11 inches. Troy is located in Lincoln County, and many people who live there commute to St. Louis for work.
The blizzard has also forced the University of Missouri to close Columbia’s Mizzou campus and UM System offices again on Monday.
“This is one of the worst snowstorms we’ve experienced,” Mizzou vice chancellor Gary Ward says. All MU Health Care hospitals will remain open.
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and MoDOT traffic communications specialist Joe Moore, which was recorded on January 13, 2019:
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