UPDATED: Snow Approaching Fast, Now Passing I-270
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A winter weather advisory has been issued for the St. Louis area from 9 am until midnight Monday.
But the snow may arrive even earlier than that.
Commuter Don Stibel of Washington Missouri was driving west on Interstate 44 near Cuba when he first ran into the approaching storm around 6 o’clock this morning.
“It is snowing very, very much out here,” Stibel reported to KMOX News. “It’s blowing on the road and when trucks go by you can’t hardly see anything.”
The National Weather Service predicts that this area could eventually see 2″ to 4″ of accumulation with a bit less in areas farther north and south.
Some freezing rain or sleet may mix in over the southern counties into this evening.
Ed Hassinger, district engineer for MoDOT, told KMOX News that they’re using lessons learned from the chaos created by the last significant snowfall last month to improve preparedness this time around.
“We looked at it from top-to-bottom and really the big change we’re going to make is when rush hour happens, it basically disables our ability to get around and get to where we need to go,” Hassinger said. “So the two things we really identified are anytime there’s a snow event that revolves around a rush hour, the time before that we’re going to up our treatment levels knowing that we can’t get back to it as quickly. We’re also going to work (more closely) with a lot of the local law enforcement agencies, especially in St. Louis County, to make sure we have a better line of communications.”
Just as the morning rush was getting underway on January 12th, a snow-and-ice storm struck the area and immediately snarled traffic, despite the eventual snowfall totals topping out around an inch-and-a-half.
MoDOT was roundly criticized for its decision not to pre-treat the roads as thoroughly because passing traffic would have blown off the chemicals before the snow arrived.
Even MoDOT Director Kevin Keith joined in the chorus of condemnation after the Jan. 12th debacle, saying at the time “We just didn’t do a very good job today.”
Stay tuned to KMOX and www.kmox.com throughout the day for the latest of the forecast and the efforts to clean up once the storm arrives.
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