Another weekend, another chance for snow. Missouri Department of Transportation crews will be out in force to plow and treat state roadways when snow hits, but the extreme cold and windy conditions forecasted for the weekend may make it tougher to make progress and improve road conditions.
Another weekend, another chance for snow. Missouri Department of Transportation crews are used to this kind of schedule, and they'll be out in force to plow and treat state roadways no matter when the snow hits.
The weekend forecast adds a level of difficulty for MoDOT's snowplow drivers, because the extreme cold and windy conditions may make it tougher to make progress and improve road conditions.
"At 30 degrees, one pound of salt will melt 46 pounds of ice, but that same pound of salt will melt less than four pounds of ice when it's zero degrees," said Beth Wright, MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer. "Add in the high winds that will blow snow back onto roadways, and we may face a truly challenging storm."
Those bitter temperatures don't just make plowing snow more difficult. They also make it more hazardous for crews and motorists. MoDOT employees take extra precautions to be safe from extremely cold temperatures, and so should motorists.
"If you have to travel during this storm, please be prepared and extra cautious," said Wright. "When temperatures dip this low, getting stranded on the side of the road can be very dangerous."
Before you travel, equip your vehicle with an emergency kit that includes:
• a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom
• a flashlight, battery powered radio, and extra batteries
• water and snack food
• blankets, extra hats, socks and mittens
• first aid kit with pocket knife and any necessary medications
• tow chain or rope
• road salt and sand
• booster cables
• emergency flares
• fluorescent distress flag
Check out additional extreme cold weather tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at http://m.fema.gov/winter-storms-extreme-cold.
One of the best ways to prepare for winter travel is to check MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org. The map offers real-time views of road conditions for Missouri's interstates and major highways.
For smartphone and tablet users, MoDOT's Traveler Information App brings the same information to your mobile devices. Users can select road condition and work zone options from the map's legend, and view the same cameras and message boards found on desktop version of the map. The app is available for free at the iPhone App Store and Android Marketplace.
Travelers can also pick up the phone and call MoDOT's toll-free customer service center at 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636). Customer service representatives are available to give road conditions updates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.