First Snowfall Of The Winter Tests MoDOT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - It arrived a little late for those dreaming of a White Christmas, but the St. Louis area did get hit with its first snowfall of the winter overnight Monday.
An inch to two inches fell roughly between 2 and 5 am in large flakes that quickly piled up on trees and grass, as well as on roadways, obliterating lane markings in many cases and making for slow going for drivers.
Top speeds dropped to around 40 miles per hour before the snow headed east and a cold rain lingered, clearing snow away from road surfaces but also leading to several accidents, a couple of them resulting in fatalities.
Did the Missouri Department of Transportation feel like its response to the first snowfall of the year was adequate?
“Yes, we always have enough snowplows for the storm, as needed,” answered MoDOT spokesperson Kara Price. “Sometimes when we get just a little bit of accumulation like we did, we don’t necessarily need full crews. But we do put as many crews out there as needed for the situation.”
Helping matters is the fact that this is the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when many schools are closed and commuters are taking extended holidays, making for lighter traffic.
MoDOT’s Kara Price says despite their well-documented fiscal difficulties, they are prepared for the months ahead.
“We have plenty of salt on hand right now,” she said. “Luckily we really haven’t had a lot of winter weather this December, so that’s helped a lot because a lot of times by now we’ve had at least a couple of snowstorms. Our bolder five-year direction is not going to affect our snow operations this year.
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