ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Mayor Francis Slay held a press conference Thursday at the St. Louis Emergency Operation Center in downtown St. Louis to provide an update on the city's emergency management preparations.
Mayor Slay says officials are prepared for anything, but are hoping for the best. The main focus at this time is transit, and the afternoon rush hour is expected to be a mess.
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Drivers are urged to stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary.
Freezing drizzle is expected overnight, which could make the morning commute slippery.
Todd Waelterman, Director of the City of St. Louis Streets Department recommends residents hunker down to wait out the storm and to stay off the roads to allow street crews to do their job.
The city has the ability to put 100 trucks on the road at a time and has plenty of salt, brine, and other supplies.
Sidewalks will still be very slippery, so anyone walking should use extra caution.
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Metro transit has been in emergency mode since Wednesday, but is running a full schedule.
Anyone needing assistance should call 211. Call 911 for emergencies.
Mayor Slay says although they are prepared for anything, the biggest concern is an ice storm that could produce lengthy power outages. The city is in close communication with Ameren to stay up to date on current conditions.
Waelterman also urged drivers to stay at home, but if they must be out, to slow down. Unsafe driving can put not only the driver at risk, but also city crews working to clear streets.
St. Louis City Hall and all city offices are closed Thursday, and Maggie Crane, a spokesperson for Mayor Slay, says all non-essential employees are not to report to work due to the winter storm quickly approaching the St. Louis area.
Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency across Missouri Thursday after a mixture of snow, sleet, and ice hit the states. Some areas out west are expected to get more than 10 inches of snow.
The State Emergency Operations Center has been monitoring the storm since Wednesday morning, and Gov. Nixon has been receiving regular updates from his emergency management team, and officials with the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Missouri National Guard, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and State Emergency Management Agency.
Over 100 flights have been canceled at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and more cancellations are expected. American Airlines says they will cancel all flights in and out of Lambert at 3 p.m.
Interstate 44 is closed in Laclede County at mile marker 131 because a car was in an accident and overturned.
The city will update conditions again at 5 p.m.