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Plowing through the weather

A city resident waves as a Jefferson City snow plow works to clear the roads during the winter storm Thursday.

A city resident waves as a Jefferson City snow plow works to clear the roads during the winter storm Thursday. Photo by Madeleine Leroux.

The winter storm that hit Jefferson City yesterday likely was enough to deter many from driving the snow-covered streets, but fleets of snow plows were out in full force.

John Reutter has been working with the city for almost 14 years and spent much of Thursday driving up and down Dix Road, Boonville Road, Industrial Drive and others in the area.

“It’s hard to get it all done,” Reutter said as his plow worked to clear Dix Road. “You can’t keep all of ’em open at the same time when it’s still coming down.”

A short time after clearing Dix Road, Reutter returns to the street to do the same job again, as a combination of continued snowfall and other motorists spreading the snow have covered the previously clear road. He said, on busier roads, traffic spreads the snow and slush back over the road after it’s been cleared, perpetuating the slick conditions.

Reutter said it’s one of the most aggravating parts of the job. By having to do the same road over and over again, it takes time away from the other streets he could be doing.

As Reutter turns around to do the other side of Dix Road, he runs his plow along Missouri Boulevard, even though the road is state maintained and not a part of his route.

“In something like this, you try to help everybody out,” Reutter said.

A little later a Missouri Department of Transportation plow is seen returning the favor on Dix Road.

Reutter said Thursday’s snow wasn’t too bad, but that can be a problem in itself. He said the bigger, heavier snows can be easier simply because people will stay at home and not try to drive anywhere.

On Thursday morning, Reutter knew he was in for a long day, if not several. He said he doesn’t expect to get home until the roads are clear, which could take more time if more snow comes in Thursday night. When the drivers have to work all night to help keep roads clear for morning commuters, Reutter said cots are set up at the street division’s main building and some drivers will try to get some rest in their trucks before setting out again.

“We don’t normally stop til it stops,” Reutter said.

But even then, he said, no one goes home until the roads are clear.

Additional:

Weather-related school closings, announcements for Friday, Feb. 22, 2013

Area forecast, radar and advisories

Jefferson City snow route conditions

MoDOT Traveler Information map

Winter photo gallery submitted by our readers

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