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Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:20

March cold and dry across Illinois

   CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' climatologist says winter continue continued to hang on in the state through most of March with colder-than-usual temperatures.
   But climatologist Jim Angel said Tuesday the month was also drier than usual.
   According to Angel, the statewide average temperature in March was 33.8 degrees. That's 7 degrees below average and the eighth coldest March on record for Illinois.
   March proved to be a continuation of Illinois' harsh winter. It was the fifth straight month of below-average temperatures.
   But the month was the 11th driest month on record with just 1.49 inches of precipitation falling on average around the state. That's exactly half of the typical March precipitation.
   But Angel said some spots still had heavy snow. Mendota led the state with 17.9 inches.
 
Published in Local News

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - The winter storm may have moved out of the St. Louis area, but as it pushes toward the East Coast, it is causing problems for air travel.

 

Lambert canceled over 130 flights Sunday, and today there are already nearly 30 cancellations as of 6 AM. That number could rise throughout the day as the storm arrives east.

 

Lambert encourages travelers to check with air carriers before heading out the door.

Published in Local News
Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:41

Who's First? MoDOT's Plowing Priorities

   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.
 
Published in Around Town
Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:28

MoDOT issues state-wide travel advisory

   JEFFERSON CITY, MO – With weekend snow and freezing rain covering the most of the state, Missouri travelers are advised to use caution if they must travel Sunday evening and Monday morning.
   Snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to continue statewide, affecting road conditions overnight. Extreme cold temperatures and high wind continues to be a concern, causing blowing and drifting snow.
   "MoDOT crews will work throughout the night to keep roads plowed and treated," said Beth Wright, MoDOT state maintenance engineer. "We encourage people to stay tuned to local weather forecasts, check road conditions on MoDOT's traveler map, and avoid travel if possible."
   Heavier snow is in the forecast for northern and central Missouri with accumulations expected to reach from 3 to 6 inches, and a possibility of 1 to 3 inches in the southern counties of the state. Precipitation is expected to continue through Monday morning.
   If you must travel, take your mobile phone and winter survival supplies. If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle and call 911. Be aware that emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you. 
   Remember the following winter driving tips:
 
   ·       Wear your seat belt.
   ·       Slow down, and adjust your speed to the conditions.
   ·       Give snow plows plenty of room.
   ·       Keep your windshield and windows clear to help you see.
   ·       Be alert and remember that road conditions can change very quickly.
   ·       Allow extra travel time to get to your destination.
 
   Stay informed about Missouri road conditions by using MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, available online at www.modot.org or through the smartphone app. The map offers current views of road conditions for Missouri interstates and highways. You can zoom in to a particular location, check live weather radar and view images from MoDOT's traffic cameras and message boards.
   MoDOT also provides road conditions information through the Customer Service Center. Dial 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) to speak to a customer service representative. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
 
Published in Local News

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - The first wave of a winter storm moved through the metro area late Saturday night.

 

Freezing drizzle started falling late Saturday evening and caused slick spots on side streets, neighborhoods, and parking lots. That freezing drizzle transitioned to sleet in the early morning hours of Sunday.

 

Precipitation will return in waves Sunday. A break in the snow and sleet is expected late morning into the early afternoon before the snow ramps up. Metro St. Louis should expect mostly snow, with a mix of snow and sleet expecter further south. There could be isolated periods of heave snow late Sunday.

 

This storm will be followed up by near record cold for March. Overnight lows should at or just above zero Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Published in Local News
 
   Freezing rain is taking it's toll on area roadways.  Icy conditions caused dozens of crashes Monday morning.
   Icy conditions are blamed for four accidents in a five-mile stretch of Interstate 55 before 7:00 a.m.  Police say two people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after a three-car crash at I-55 and Lindbergh.  Police also say a car slid on the ice and struck an emergency vehicle working that accident.  
   Police say most of the accidents were caused by drivers going too fast for the slick road conditions.
   MoDOT District Engineer Becky Allmeroth says crews began pretreating area roads at midnight. Allmeroth says if motorists in these areas can delay travel until late morning it will help.  
   MoDOT crews are using a combination of salt brine, rock salt and beet juice to improve areas roadways during this storm.
   With warmer weather on the horizon, St. Louis City Streets Director Todd Waelterman says crews will have to be ready to switch gears, literally overnight.  Waeltermann tells Fox 2 News that today's winter weather will quickly be replaced by Pothole season. 
   "You know the roads have opened up considerably, and with the warmer weather, you're going to see a lot of movement of this pavement," Waelterman said.  "So it is going to be pothole week."
 
Published in Local News
Thursday, 06 February 2014 04:10

Recent snow could cause longer MO school year

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's education department says the latest in a series of winter storms could cause school districts to extend classes into the summer.
   Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Sarah Potter says public schools have already had more snow days than usual in the current academic year.
   Many districts have had to call off classes the past two months because of snow, ice and cold temperatures. Potter says schools might need to cut short spring and summer vacations.
   The department requires school districts to build six snow days into their calendars and those days must be made up in full. Subsequent snow days only count for a half day that must be made up during the academic year.
 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 03:41

Snow prompts MO House to cancel hearings

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The winter weather spreading across much of Missouri has caused the cancellation of a few afternoon House committee hearings.
   Hearings on budget proposals for education, mental health, public safety and social services were called off Tuesday after snow blanketed Jefferson City.
   The House Chief Clerk also officially closed House operations at 1:30 p.m. because of the weather. A House Insurance Policy Committee dinner scheduled for tonight at Jefferson City Country Club was also called off.
   The afternoon snow didn't halt all legislative activity. Two Senate committees met, and evening House hearings were still scheduled.
   Both the House and Senate are scheduled to resume work Wednesday morning.
 
Published in Local News

   The winter storm that's expected to blow through Missouri is already causing some schools to cancel classes for Tuesday.  That includes the University of Missouri main campus in Columbia.  

   Monday evening, University officials announced the "full closure of the MU campus."  Only university employees who are "situationally critical" should report for work.  

   Forecasters are predicting up to 8-inches of snowfall in the Columbia, Missouri area.  Gary Ward, interim vice chancellor for administrative services says university officials were concerned because students, faculty and staff would be traveling to and from campus during the heaviest snowfall.  

   Ward says university administrators will decide by 8:00 p.m. Tuesday whether its safe enough to reopen on Wedensday.

 

Published in Local News

Missouri Department of Transportation officials are advising Missourians to stay home during tomorrow's storm and have issued a "no travel advisory".

 

In a release, MoDOT says that once the storm arrives, travel will quickly become dangerous. A MoDOT engineer says that once the snow starts falling, it will be easier for plows to clear roads if there are fewer vehicles on the streets. This storm is expected to shape up much like heavy snow that fell last year.

 

MoDOT officials say the problems on roads were compounded last year when employers sent workers home early--the additional cars slowed traffic in many areas to a standstill.

Published in Local News
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