Brett Blume

ST LOUIS (KMOX) –  It’s like the exact opposite of what happened back on January 12th.

Nasty weather including rain and possible sleet with the temperature hovering around freezing was expected to hit around the time Wednesday morning’s rush was getting underway.

However, when 5 am arrived the streets were still dry and nothing was falling from the sky.

But with the harsh lessons of two weeks ago still fresh in their minds, the Missouri Department of Transportation was taking no chances.

District Maintenance Engineer Becky Almeroth says that’s why they had trucks out salting the roads Tuesday night.

“When you’re dealing with Mother Nature, she can really throw you a curveball and things can change at the last minute,” Almeroth told KMOX News.

Area commuters won’t soon forgot the chaos that greeted them the morning of Jan. 12th, when snow and ice struck just as the morning rush was getting underway.

Even so, the inch-and-a-half or so of precipitation seemed to cause a disproportionate number of problems on the roads, including numerous injury and even some fatal crashes in the St. Louis district.

The backlash was immediate, and harsh — even from within the agency itself.

“I’m hearing that we didn’t get a lot of snow, traffic was a mess, and I’m not very happy about it,” MoDOT Director Kevin Keith told KMOX News at the time.

According to Almeroth they learned other lessons from what was a very rough day for drivers and MoDOT alike.

“One of the things we learned is that we saw situations where our roadways were shut down by law enforcement for safety reasons,” she explained. “And we were able to see from our traffic management center that one of our salt trucks was stuck a couple of hundred feet behind that closure, and that’s what the officers aren’t able to see in the field.”

She says they’re now working to establish better communications with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies during times of emergency to better coordinate storm response.


KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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