On Sunday motorists throughout the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties struggled with slick roads and frigid temperatures. An unexpected front was also moving through the area Monday evening at press time.

Forecasters are predicting winter weather will continue its grip on mid-Missouri as another storm system is expected to move through the area Tuesday with a possible storm to follow over the weekend. 

In the meantime, on Sunday motorists throughout the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties struggled with slick roads and frigid temperatures. An unexpected front was also moving through the area Monday evening at press time. 

Accidents and stranded motorists kept emergency crews busy throughout the afternoon and evening of February 4 as well as forced the cancellation of all but one lake area school on Monday. Travelers in Missouri Highway Patrol Troop I, in Phelps and Pulaski counties, experienced major traffic delays with three multi-vehicle pile-ups shutting Interstate 44 down for hours. 

In MSHP Troop F, which includes Miller, Morgan and Camden counties, the highway patrol reported 201 calls for service and 141 crashes between 2 and 9 p.m. Sunday. There were 11 injuries and one fatality in Audrain County reported. 

In the lake area, an Eldon woman received minor injuries in a wreck as snow started to fall on the Lake area Sunday afternoon.

According to the highway patrol crash report, Nicole L. Williams, 28, was taken by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital for treatment after the accident which occurred around 1:40 p.m. on Highway 52, 0.3 mile west of East Marvin Road in Morgan County.

The 2004 Ford F-150 she was driving west lost traction and went off the right side of the roadway, the report states. The pickup then struck a concrete curb and fence.

It is unknown if Williams was wearing a seatbelt. The report described the pickup as being moderately damaged. It was secured roadside as several slide-offs and accidents were occurring around the 13 counties of Troop F.

Late Monday afternoon, Missouri Department of Transportation crews were taking stock of the amount of materials already on the roadways due to Sunday’s snow storm and treating in areas where additional salt, beet juice and other abrasives, are needed. Light snow and the potential for freezing drizzle are forecast to hit central Missouri intermittently for the next several days. 

MoDOT said freezing drizzle can result in patches of black ice, which is difficult to see on the roads, so motorists should use extra caution if travel is necessary.

“Even a slight amount of precipitation can make for slick roads,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester. “We encourage drivers to plan ahead, allow extra time for their travels and drive for the conditions, which means lowering your speeds and keeping your attention on the task at hand, which is driving.”

MoDOT crews will carefully monitor road conditions and are ready to plow and treat state routes as needed. Motorists should be aware that bridges and overpasses generally experience freezing conditions first. MoDOT encourages drivers to remember the following tips when driving in inclement weather:

•Slow down.

•Steer and brake gently.

•Accelerate slowly at intersections.

•Allow plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you.

•Stay back 100 feet behind snow plows that may be spreading salt. Do not pass snow plows even when on a multi-lane road.

MoDOT offers a variety of tools to help drivers get where they are going safely. The department’s Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org, offers the latest road conditions, as well as real-time traffic flow and traffic cameras that provide a view of traffic on the interstates.

MoDOT also has a toll-free customer service line which is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. A customer service representative can be reached by calling 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636).