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Improved emergency medical treatment and faster service for southwestern Illinois residents and workers are the goals of a $2.3 million emergency room expansion project now underway at Touchette Regional Hospital.
Touchette’s 24-hour emergency services will remain open during construction which is to be completed by mid-2014.
The project will add seven, private ER treatment rooms, plus a larger triage area for quicker patient evaluation. There will also be a new decontamination unit equipped to manage medical issues related to industrial accidents or natural disasters.
Project funding is through the Hospital Capital Investment Program of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
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.
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.
Around two dozen homeowners were evacuated from their houses after a gas leak was discovered.
Just before 9 AM crews were called to the 3400 block of Macklind Avenue. The crews were unable to shut off gas to the house where the leak was located. As a precaution, more than 20 other homes were evacuated.