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Wet, heavy snow starting to fall as road crews prepare for midweek winter storm

IDOT said this storm is probably going to be a lot different than the last one in December.

ST. LOUIS — Road crews are busy preparing for this batch of winter weather headed our way midweek.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) said they’ve been busy filling potholes and checking trucks.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it's also a good time to get your own car ready.

Joe Monroe with the IDOT said they’re gearing up to clean snow off 5,200 miles in the coming days.

“We’ll be going through our trucks today primarily. That's our first check on our checklist. Then moving to our potholes,” Monroe said.

Monroe said they’re also looking into pretreating roads.

“We're really looking forward to some additional data tomorrow morning to determine whether or not pre-treating is the right thing to do. It’s now commonly done with the brine unit but we’re still not sure it would be the correct move,” Monroe said.

He said they think this will be a very different storm than what we dealt with last month and should be able to use rock salt to help clear the roads.

“We'll take anything over ice. Anything at all. So, while slush presents its own challenge, it is just that. So, if you have a well-working plow and have a modest amount of chemical behind it, you can clear pretty regularly as long as you don't get it packed in,” Monroe said.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Dallas Thompson said it’s important to gas up your car, get some emergency items together and take it slow if you have to drive.

“Slush can make your vehicle pull from one side to the other. So, you might not have that packed snow or driving lanes and maybe some slushy snow that you're trying to drive on. You hit one of those slushy spots and it will pull your vehicle. So, keep your hands on the wheel. That's where driving those safe speeds come in. Drive slow enough for the conditions that you're on,” Thompson said.

Due to continued short staffing issues for MoDOT, Thompson said it’s best to stay off the roads for as long as possible.

“More traffic on the roadways just means more congestion for them to have to deal with their plows. It's also going to be packing the snow down on the ground, on the roadways, which makes it a little harder to move off of the roadways,” Thompson said.

Both agencies said lots of people stayed off the roads last time which really helped reduce crashes and they didn’t have any major issues.

The biggest thing to remember if you have to drive, don’t crowd the plow.

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