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   As the snow and sleet continue to fall in the St. Louis area, most of the interstate highways were in fairly good shape Sunday afternoon.  Most of the surface streets were still fairly icy.  More snow is expected Sunday night into Monday, and the storm is wide-spread, covering much of the state.  So Missouri Transportation officials must prioritize snow and ice removal.  MoDOT officials issued the following statement reguarding their plowing priorities:
 
   MoDOT adjusts its practices to deal differently with each storm and tries to return roads to near-normal driving conditions as soon as possible after a storm's end.  Because MoDOT doesn't have enough workers or trucks to clear every highway immediately after a snowstorm, the department has set priorities for which roads to clear first.
   * Roads with the highest traffic volumes are plowed or treated first. These roads include interstates and other busy state routes, which receive ongoing operations throughout a storm.
   * Lettered and numbered routes with lower traffic volumes are plowed to allow for two-way traffic, with concentration on hills, curves, and intersections. Traffic on these roads may have more snow on them until the higher-volume roads are mostly clear.
   As soon as possible after a storm ends, our goal is to return highest traveled routes to mostly clear conditions and to plow and treat the critical areas of hills, curves and intersections on all other routes.
   Even after all the driving lanes are mostly clear though, MODOT's work is not done. Workers now must clean up the accumulation of snow on shoulders, bridge edges and at interchanges during normal working hours.
 
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   St. Louisans are getting geared up for one of the rites of spring....Mardi Gras.  Finishing touches are being put on the floats this week as Krewes get ready for Saturday's parade.  

   The festivities officially kicked off with the Taste of Soulard and Sunday's Pet Parade.

   The party continues with the Mayor's Mardi Gras Ball at City Hall this Friday night and then the Parade on Saturday.  

   The Fat Tuesday Parade will wrap up the pre-Lenten celebration when it marches down Washington Ave. on March 4.

   St. Louis' annual Mardi Gras celebration is one of the largest in the nation.

   A complete schedule of events, along with parking information and parade routes can be found at the St. Louis Mardi Gras website.

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