ST. LOUIS — Drivers are urged to stay off the roads Thursday evening if they can. For those who need to drive in the St. Louis area, use extreme caution.
A major weather system brought rain for the morning commute, which then changed to a wintry mix and now snow.
Missouri Department of Transportation officials said crews have been out on the roads all day applying treatment and plowing roads. The work will continue through the afternoon and into tomorrow morning as more snow is on the way.
"We've got a slight lull going on right now," MoDOT Maintenance District Engineer Bob Becker said during a 2 p.m. update. "Giving us an opportunity to get a little ahead of this thing before it comes back in here in a couple hours with snow again."
Becker said snowplow drivers will work to clear off as much snow as they can. They plan to apply another layer of treatment before temperatures dip down into the teens and single digits overnight.
"Our chemicals don't work as fast in those conditions," he explained.
The Thursday evening rush is still the main concern at this point, with more snow expected over the next couple of hours. The Missouri State Highway Patrol's St. Louis area troop already has responded to nearly 200 calls for help.
- 194 calls for service
- 39 stranded drivers
- 83 non-injury crashes
- 4 injury crashes
MoDOT and the highway patrol continued to encourage people to stay home. For those who have to drive, give yourself plenty of time and space between you and other drivers. If your vehicle goes off the road, stay inside and call 911 or *55, which goes straight to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
“Having significantly lower traffic during the winter storm earlier this month really made a difference for our crews to get the roads clear sooner, and there were less incidents,” Becker said Wednesday ahead of the storm.
"When our snowplow operators are out there, please give us plenty of room and be patient," said assistant district engineer for MoDOT Michelle Forneris during a Thursday morning update.
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MoDOT offered the following tips for anyone who does need to drive in the wintry weather Thursday:
- Be cautious of slowed or stalled traffic
- Give road crews plenty of room to work – snowplows are wider than they look – don’t try to pass them
- If you become stranded, stay inside your vehicle until help arrives
Check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map for live traffic cameras and road conditions throughout the state.
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This was a soaker of a system for the St. Louis area with up to 3 inches of rain before the wintry weather moved into the metro late morning into the afternoon.
Thursday afternoon the temperatures continue to drop below freezing and down into the twenties. Thursday night, lows drop into the single digits and teens, so any standing water turns to ice.